Official Opposition (India)
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Official Opposition is a term used in India to designate the political party which has secured the largest number of seats in the Lower House of parliament (Lok Sabha) but is not a part of the ruling party or coalition.
A political party is officially accorded the status of an opposition party in Lok Sabha, only if it secures at least 10 percent of the seats.
- 1950-1977: No party achieved the said 10% of total seats, other than ruling congress (+coalition).
- 1977- 1979 : Indian National Congress
- 1984-1989 : Telugu Desam Party (Only regional party to hold office)
- 1989 - 1991: Indian National Congress
- 1991 - 1998: Bharatiya Janata Party
- 1998 - 2004: Indian National Congress
- 2004 - 2009: Bharatiya Janata Party
- 2009 - 2014: Bharatiya Janata Party
- 2014 - 2019: None, Among all the parties none has secured 10% of the total seats (54/543).
The Opposition’s main role is to question the government of the day and hold them accountable to the public.The Opposition is equally responsible in upholding the best interests of the people of the country. They have to ensure that the Government does not take any steps, which might have negative implications on the people of the country.
The role of the opposition in parliament is basically to check the excesses of the ruling or dominant party, and not to be totally antagonistic. There are actions of the ruling party which may be beneficial to the masses and opposition is expected to support such steps.
In Parliament, Opposition Party has a major role and must act to discourage the party in power from acting against the interests of the country and the common man. They are expected to alert the population and the Government on the content of any Bill, which is not in the best interests of the country.