After the Congress party suffered a major setback as its senior leader Jyotiraditya Scinidya joined BJP yesterday, Rahul Gandhi talked to media for the first time today. During the media interaction, he accused the central government of underplaying the threat of coronavirus, saying the virus has created a havoc in India, and in turn that has created a havoc in the economy. But how he introduced himself while talking about coronavirus threat has created confusion among people, as he called himself leader of opposition.
Before talking about the issue, Rahul Gandhi said, “I am not an expert, and it is not my place to start giving tactical answers to this question, that what should be done on Coronavirus. There are experts, who understand what should be done. I am leader of the opposition, I am bringing the attention of the people of India to a serious problem”.
#WATCH Rahul Gandhi, Congress: I am leader of the opposition, I am bringing the attention of people of India to a very serious problem. The central problem is that our biggest strength which was our economy has now become a huge weakness. pic.twitter.com/VXDKC8WWRl— ANI (@ANI) March 12, 2020
Rahul Gandhi called himself “leader of the opposition”, which has puzzled many people on social media. Because, he is not the leader of the opposition in the current Lok Sabha, where he is a member from Kerala. Although Rahul Gandhi just said ‘leader of opposition’, which can be a generic term to mean a leader from the opposition instead of the specific post of the ‘leader of the opposition’ in parliament or assembly, many people assumed he meant the official position, and started mocking him. Some people also asked, if Rahul Gandhi is the leader of the opposition, who is Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury?
So who is Adhir Ranjan then ? https://t.co/4LGwvpVC6r— Vijay (@centerofright) March 12, 2020
The leader of Cong in LS is Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury. The leader of Cong in RS is Ghulam Nabi Azad. The interim president of Cong is Sonia Gandhi. How the hell are you the leader of opposition, Pappu @RahulGandhi ?— A (@asgh56789) March 12, 2020
Although Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Choudhury is mistaken for the leader of opposition in Lok Sabha, in fact, he also does not hold that post, and he is only the leader of the largest opposition party in the lower house, which is the Congress party. Because the fact is, the current Lok Sabha does have any leader of the opposition, just like the previous Lok Sabha. The post of leader of the opposition is a cabinet ranked post, and to get that post, an opposition party must win a minimum 10% of the seats. As no opposition party won a minimum 10% seats in both 16th and 17th Lok Sabha, there is no leader of opposition in both of them.
Although there is no leader of the opposition, leader of the largest opposition takes that place in various committees where the LoP is required as per laws, but that leader is not called the leader of the opposition and does not enjoy the perks and privileges that come with the position. Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad is the leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha.
Therefore, neither Rahul Gandhi nor Adhir Ranjan Choudhury is the leader of the opposition in the Lok Sabha, and many people think that Rahul Gandhi is mistaken about his position in the parliament.
Responding to Rahul Gandhi’s comment, Tripura chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb tweeted, “No Mr. Rahul Gandhi, you’re not the leader of opposition. However, we wish you were.”
No Mr. Rahul Gandhi, you’re not the leader of opposition. However, we wish you were 😂 pic.twitter.com/KVrUyBT1Xk— Biplab Kumar Deb (@BjpBiplab) March 12, 2020
Similarly, many social media users asked who made Rahul Gandhi the leader of the opposition.
Who made you leader of opposition? https://t.co/KqDXiFD8w2— 𝕭𝖆𝖗𝖇𝖆𝖗𝖎𝖆𝖓 𝕴𝖓𝖉𝖎𝖆𝖓 🍷 (@barbarindian) March 12, 2020
God !! He doesn’t even know he is not leader of the opposition.— Sambit Nayak (@sambitlnt) March 12, 2020
This guy was presented to us as the best thing since sliced bread. https://t.co/OCPl9EpvaP
Even if Rahul Gandhi wanted that to mean a leader of an opposition party, that is also confusing as at present Sonia Gandhi is the leader of the Congress party after his resigned from the post of Congress president. But he is indeed an opposition leader, as a senior leader and former president of the Congress party, which is an opposition party. But the words ‘Leader of Opposition’ usually refers to the post of Leader of the Opposition in parliament or assembly, and therefore when Rahul Gandhi called himself ‘leader of opposition’, most people assumed he made yet another goof up, and started mocking him.