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Leader of the Opposition (India)

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Title: Leader of the Opposition (India)  
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Subject: Parliament of India, 16th Lok Sabha, List of members of the 16th Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj, 2nd Lok Sabha
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Leader of the Opposition (India)

Leader of the Opposition of India
Emblem of India
Incumbent
None (No opposition with more than 10% seats) (in Lok Sabha)
Ghulam Nabi Azad (in Rajya Sabha)
Website .in.nic.parliamentofindiawww

The Leader of the Opposition is the politician who leads the official opposition in either House of the Parliament of India.

While the position also existed in the former Central Legislative Assembly of British India, and holders of it there included Motilal Nehru, it received statutory recognition through the Salary and Allowances of Leaders of Opposition in Parliament Act, 1977 which defines the term "Leader of the Opposition" as that member of the Lok Sabha or the Rajya Sabha who, for the time being, is the Leader of that House of the Party in Opposition to the Government having the greatest numerical strength and recognized, as such, by the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha or the Speaker of the Lok Sabha. However, in order to get formal recognition, the concerned party must have at least 10% of the total strength of the House (55 seats in the Lok Sabha). If any party fails to get 10% seats in opposition, the House will not have recognized leader of the opposition.[1][2] A single party has to meet the 10% seat criteria, not an alliance.[3]

This is the most accepted or most spoken rule of appointing this post but when we refer to "Salary and Allowances of Leaders of Opposition in Parliament Act, 1977" by which the post has got official and statutory status, the majority required is decided by the head of the houses, that is speaker and chairman as the case maybe.Refer to definition of Leader of Opposition in the act.

The Central Vigilance Commission Act, 2003, clause 4, provides for the leader of the largest opposition party to be inducted as a member of the selection committee in a scenario where the lower house of parliament does not have a recognized leader of the opposition.[4]


Leaders of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha

The Lok Sabha had no recognised Leader of the Opposition until 1969 (Except A.K. Gopalan in the First Lok Sabha). The post was also vacant between 1980 and 1989.[5]

Name Party Term Lok Sabha
A.K. Gopalan Communist Party of India 26 January 1952 – 4 April 1957 First
Vacant No official opposition 4 April 1957 – 4 March 1967
Second
Third
Vacant No official opposition 4 March 1967 – 12 December 1969 Fourth
Ram Subhag Singh Indian National Congress (O) 17 December 1969 – 27 December 1970
Vacant No official opposition 27 December 1970 – 31 June 1977 Fifth
Y. B. Chavan Indian National Congress 1 July 1977 – 11 April 1978 Sixth
C. M. Stephen 12 April 1978 – 9 July 1979
Y. B. Chavan 10–28 July 1979
Jagjivan Ram Janata Party 29 July – 22 August 1979
Vacant No official opposition[6] 22 August 1979 – 18 December 1989 Seventh
Eighth
Rajiv Gandhi Indian National Congress 18 December 1989 – 23 December 1990 Ninth
L. K. Advani Bharatiya Janata Party 24 December 1990 – 13 March 1991
21 June 1991 – 26 July 1993 Tenth
Atal Bihari Vajpayee 21 July 1993 – 10 May 1996
P. V. Narasimha Rao Indian National Congress 16 May 1996 – 31 May 1996 Eleventh
Atal Bihari Vajpayee Bharatiya Janata Party 1 June 1996 – 4 December 1997
Sharad Pawar Indian National Congress 19 March 1998 – 26 April 1999 Twelfth
Sonia Gandhi 31 October 1999 – 6 February 2004 Thirteenth
L. K. Advani Bharatiya Janata Party 21 May 2004 – 18 May 2009 Fourteenth
Sushma Swaraj 21 December 2009 – 19 May 2014 Fifteenth
Vacant No official opposition since 4 June 2014 Sixteenth
Source:[7]

List of Leaders of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha

In Rajya Sabha until 1969, there was no Leader of the Opposition in real sense of the term. Till then, the practice was to call the Leader of the party in Opposition having the largest number of the members as the Leader of the Opposition, without according him any formal recognition, status or privilege. The office of Leader of the Opposition was given official recognition through the Salary and Allowances of Leaders of the Opposition in Parliament Act, 1977. This Act defines the Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha, as a member of the Council of States who is, for the time being, the Leader in that House of the party in opposition to the Government constituting the greatest numerical strength and recognized as such by the Chairman of the Council of States. Thus, the Leader of the Opposition should satisfy three conditions, namely, (i) he should be a member of the House (ii) the Leader in Rajya Sabha of the party in opposition to the Government having the greatest numerical strength and (iii) be recognized as such by the Chairman, Rajya Sabha.

Following members have been the Leaders of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha.[8]

Name Party Term
1 Shyam Nandan Prasad Mishra Indian National Congress (O) December 1969 – March 1971
2 M. S. Gurupadaswamy March 1971 – April 1972
3 Kamalapati Tripathi Indian National Congress 30 March 1977 – 15 February 1978
4 Bhola Paswan Shastri Indian National Congress (O) 24 February 1978 – 23 March 1978
5 Kamalapati Tripathi Indian National Congress 23 March 1978 – 8 January 1980
6 L. K. Advani Bharatiya Jana Sangh 21 January 1980 – 7 April 1980
7 P. Shiv Shankar Indian National Congress 18 December 1989 – 2 January 1991
8 M. S. Gurupadaswamy Janata Dal 28 June – 21 July 1991
9 S. Jaipal Reddy 22 July 1991 – 29 June 1992
10 Sikander Bakht Bharatiya Janata Party 7 July 1992 – 23 May 1996
11 Shankarrao Chavan Indian National Congress 23 May 1996 – 1 June 1996
12 Sikander Bakht Bharatiya Janata Party 1 June 1996 – 19 March 1998
13 Manmohan Singh Indian National Congress 21 March 1998 – 21 May 2004
14 Jaswant Singh Bharatiya Janata Party 3 June 2004 – 16 May 2009
15 Arun Jaitley 3 June 2009 – 26 May 2014
16 Ghulam Nabi Azad Indian National Congress 8 June 2014 - incumbent

References

  1. ^ "Salary and Allowances of Leaders of Opposition in Parliament Act, 1977". Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, Government of India. Archived from the original on 16 January 2010. Retrieved 1 October 2012. 
  2. ^ Parliament Of India. Legislativebodiesinindia.nic.in. Retrieved on 2014-05-21.
  3. ^ http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/new-house-cannot-have-opposition-leader/article6034355.ece
  4. ^ http://cvc.nic.in/cvcact.pdf
  5. ^ http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/new-house-cannot-have-opposition-leader/article6034355.ece
  6. ^ http://www.rediff.com/news/column/ls-election-no-leader-of-oppn-there-wasnt-any-in-nehru-indira-rajiv-days/20140523.htm
  7. ^ Lok Sabha. Legislativebodiesinindia.nic.in. Retrieved on 2014-05-21.
  8. ^ Rajya Sabha Introduction. Rajyasabha.nic.in. Retrieved on 2014-05-21.
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