Maharashtra Congress has convened a meeting of its legislators on Tuesday where the issue of staking claim to the post of Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly may come up for discussion, a party leader said. All India Congress Committee (AICC) secretary HK Patil will attend the meeting.
The post of Leader of Opposition (LoP) fell vacant after Nationalist Congress Party leader Ajit Pawar resigned on Friday. He joined the Shiv Sena-BJP government on Sunday as deputy chief minister while eight other NCP MLAs took oath as ministers.
"Congress justified in claiming post of LoP," Sharad Pawar
Notably, the NCP, led by Sharad Pawar, has appointed MLA Jitendra Awhad as the LoP. Sharad Pawar on Monday said the Congress, a constituent of the Maha Vikas Aghadi, was justified in claiming the post of LoP.
Congress convenes meeting on Tuesday to discuss LoP
"The Congress has convened a meeting of its legislators on Tuesday where deliberations are likely to be held on staking claim to the position of Leader of Opposition," Congress Legislature Party leader Balasaheb Thorat said on Monday. Thorat claimed the NCP can only appoint their group leader in the Legislative Assembly.
Senior Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan said there will be no problem in appointing the new LoP after ascertaining how many MLAs are with the Sharad Pawar-led NCP, following the split in its legislature party. In the 288-member Maharashtra Assembly, the Congress has 45 MLAs, while the NCP has 53 legislators.
"Sunday black spot on state's political culture," Patole
State unit Congress president Nana Patole described Sunday's political developments as a "black spot on the state's political culture".
"On one hand, there was rejoicing at Raj Bhavan after the swearing-in ceremony (of Ajit Pawar and other NCP MLAs on Sunday) and on the other hand, charred bodies of victims of the Buldhana bus accident were being cremated," he said.
Twenty five people were charred to death after a private bus they were travelling in hit a road divider on the Samruddhi Expressway in Buldhana district on Saturday, fell on its left side, and burst into flames, according to police.