Kolkata, S Sep 27: The Congress Legislature Party (CLP) in West Bengal Thursday decided to stake its claim to the post of leader of opposition in the assembly but sought party president Sonia Gandhi’ nod on the issue first.
CLP leader Mohammad Sohrab said the meeting held at the assembly premises decided that the party should approach Speaker Biman Banerjee with its claim.
“But before moving on the issue, we have sought advice of our party president. In the letter (to Gandhi), we have explained that after withdrawing support from the Trinamool Congress government we are entitled to the post of leader of opposition,” Sohrab said.
The Congress has 42 members in the state assembly, while the Communist Party of India-Marxist’s (CPI-M) strength stands at 39. The CPI-M’s Surjya Kanta Mishra is the current leader of opposition.
However, sources in the CPI-M, which spearheads the Left Front (LF), said the grouping, which has 61 legislators, had contested the assembly polls as a coalition. Mishra had been elected leader of opposition by the Front, not the CPI-M.
“The deputy leader is Subhas Naskar, who comes from another Front partner, Revolutionary Socialist Party. The opposition whip is Biswanath Karak, who is from Forward Bloc. This shows that they have been elected as Front leaders,” said the source.