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Azad Hails SC for Questioning Govt on LoP Issue

New Delhi

Hailing the Supreme Court for questioning government, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad today said the convention cited by NDA to deny LoP status to Congress in Lok Sabha has "outlived its life" and it was trying to damage democratic institutions.

He said the apex court's decision yesterday to go into the issue of interpreting the provision of LoP is a "vindication" of Congress' stand as the NDA government has been "pretentious" in denying the position to the party by "giving the issue a different colour only to make explicit its authoritarian tendencies of bulldozing its way through".

In a statement here on the SC's move, Azad said, "It is a landmark intervention to restore the bipartisan spirit of our democracy."

Charging that the Narendra Modi government's rhetoric about consensus is a "sham", the Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha said all acts of the government, including the denial of LoP status to Congress, are aimed at "damaging the institutions which have been the strength of our democracy".

The court decided to go into the issue of interpreting the provision of Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha in the matter of selection of statutory bodies when there is no recognised LoP.

Asking the government to make its stand clear within two weeks, a bench, headed by Chief Justice R M Lodha, emphasised the importance of the post saying Leader of Opposition conveys the voice of representation different from government in the House.

Azad said the NDA government had cited a convention which has "outlived its life" to deny the LoP status to Congress and it is trying to "subvert" the appointment of various statutory authorities like Lokpal and CVC among others.

"The NDA government has been pretentious in denying the position of the LoP to Congress by giving the issue a different colour only to make explicit its authoritarian tendencies of bulldozing its way through," he said.

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