Leader of the Opposition (India)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Leader of the Opposition of India
Emblem of India.svg
Emblem of India
Incumbent
None (No opposition with more than 10% seats) (in Lok Sabha)
Ghulam Nabi Azad (in Rajya Sabha)
Website www.parliamentofindia.nic.in

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] The post of Leader of the Opposition can only be awarded to the leader of a single political party and not to the leader of an alliance, even if the alliance was formed prior to the election. This means that a single party would have to meet the 10% seat criteria, not an alliance.[3]

The Leader of the Opposition enjoys the rank of a Cabinet Minister. In cases where there is no officially recognized Leader of the Opposition, the leader of the single largest group in opposition will discharge the role of leader of opposition. However, leader of the largest group in does not receive the salaries and allowances that an officially recognized one would enjoy.[4]

The Leader of the Opposition serves on several important committees, including the selection panels for the Chief Vigilance Commissioner, Central Bureau of Investigation Director and members of the Lokpal national human right commission members and chairman and chief information commissioners. Central vigilance Commission Act, 2003, clause 4, explicitly provides for the leader of the single largest group in opposition 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.[5]


Leaders of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha[edit]

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.[6]

Name Party Term Lok Sabha
Vacant No official opposition[7] 26 January 1952 – 4 March 1967 First
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[7] 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 26 July 1993 – 10 May 1996
P. V. Narasimha Rao Indian National Congress 16–31 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 13 October 1999 – 6 February 2004 Thirteenth
L. K. Advani Bharatiya Janata Party 22 May 2004 – 18 May 2009 Fourteenth
Sushma Swaraj 21 December 2009 - 19 May 2014 Fifteenth
Vacant No official opposition 4 June 2014 - Present day Sixteenth
Source:[8]

List of Leaders of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha[edit]

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.[9]

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[edit]