Guwahati, Jan 7: The Opposition Congress here has written a letter to Assam Governor Jagdish Mukhi seeking restoration of the Leader of the Opposition status accorded to Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader, Debabrata Saikia.
The Speaker of Assam Legislative Assembly, Hitendra Nath Giswami had recently withdrawn the recognition of Saikia as Leader of the Opposition after two Congress MLAs resigned from the 126-member House to join the ruling BJP, reducing the grand old party’s number of lawmakers to 20, one less than the 21 needed to have one-sixth of the total members of the Assembly.
According to the official notification (dated January 1, 2021) issued last Monday, the Opposition Congress does not have the requisite one-sixth House strength in the 126-member Assembly to hold the post of Leader of the Opposition.
“It is unfortunate and shocking that at the fag end of the 14th Assam Legislative Assembly, you consider it appropriate to withdraw the Leader of the Opposition status from the Indian National Congress, which is without any ambiguity the single-largest Opposition party in the current Assembly. Due to the sudden demise of a few honourable members and resignation of a few others, the number of INC members has decreased but we are still the single-largest Opposition party in the House,” the letter to the Governor read.
According to Section 2 of Salary and Allowances of the Leader of Opposition in the Assam Legislative Assembly Act, 1978, “Leader of Opposition” denotes that member of the Legislative Assembly who, for the time being, is the Leader of the Opposition party having the greatest numerical strength in the House and recognised as such by the Speaker.
“We trust that you will take an immediate initiative to have the notification revoked and forthwith restore Debabrata Saikia as the Leader of the Opposition in the Assam Legislative Assembly,” the letter read.