AGARTALA, Sept 13 - Ending the three-month-long speculation over the post of Leader of Opposition (LoP) in Tripura Assembly, Speaker Ramendra Chandra Debnath has rejected Trinamool Congress�s bid for the coveted post.
This is considered as a serious jolt for the Trinamool Congress with only 14 months go for the Assembly elections.
�The numerical strength of the Opposition must be equal to the quorum to get the Leader of Opposition status � it means the Opposition strength must be at least 10 in number to represent the House. Since TMC�s strength is less than 10, no LoP status could be given to the party,� the Speaker told media-persons here on Tuesday.
Quoting Constitution of India�s Article 189, Clause No. 3, the Speaker reiterated that there should be 10 members of legislators in the Opposition party to get the post of LoP. According to the Article 189 Clause No. 3, �Until the Legislature of the State by law, or otherwise provides, the quorum constitute a meeting of a House of the Legislature of a State shall be 10 members or one-tenth of the total number of members of the House, whichever is greater,� he explained. �Every Legislative Assembly follows the parliamentary procedure and rules according to which the main Opposition party�s numbers must equal the quorum, which is 10% of the total strength, required for functioning of the House,� Debnath said.
When contacted, TMC chairman Ratan Chakraborty said his party is eligible to get the LoP post as per the Legislative Assembly Act 1972 and 2008. �As the Speaker has rejected the party�s bid, the party, may explore legal option challenging the Speaker�s ruling. We sent letter to the Speaker proposing MLA Diba Chandra Hrankhawl�s name for the LoP post but he rejected the demand saying that the party�s strength must be equal to the quorum. We will consult with the legal experts on the issue very shortly,� the veteran leader said.
Earlier, the Speaker recognized all the six TMC MLAs in the Assembly after three months long process on August 29 as they were elected as Congress MLAs.