Days before the scheduled beginning of 17th Lok Sabha session, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday said that the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) - which is the single largest party in the lower parliamentary house with 303 seats - will have no walkover in Parliament.
"The Congress Party may have just 52 Lok Sabha members, but we will work together like a pride of brave hearted lions to protect our Constitution & Institutions & to fearlessly do our duty as the leading Opposition party. The BJP will have no walkover in Parliament," Gandhi tweeted after the crucial Congress Parliamentary Party meeting in New Delhi.
The Congress Party may have just 52 Lok Sabha members, but we will work together like a pride of brave hearted lions to protect our Constitution & Institutions & to fearlessly do our duty as the leading Opposition party. The BJP will have no walkover in Parliament. pic.twitter.com/Rx8aUZcqn3— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) June 1, 2019
Congress, which faced a drubbing in the recently held Lok Sabha Elections, has just 52 MPs in the Lower House of the Parliament. Gandhi had even offered to resign after party’s poor performance but it was unanimously rejected by the Congress Working Committee (CWC).
Meanwhile, Sonia Gandhi - United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Chairperson - praised Rahul for his "valiant and relentless" campaign in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, saying he toiled night and day for the party, demonstrated his "fearless leadership" and took on the Narendra Modi government head on.
"I also take this opportunity to whole-heartedly thank Rahulji for his valiant and relentless campaign. As Congress President, he has toiled night and day for the Congress party. He demonstrated his fearless leadership by taking the Modi government head on," Sonia Gandhi said.
"He (Rahul) has rejuvenated the Congress organisation in many states, and most recently lead us to victory in Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. As Congress President, he earned the respect and love of every worker and crores of voters across the length and breadth of our country. Even as I speak, emotional messages are coming from all corners, vindicating his leadership. We all express our gratitude to him for his sincerity of purpose, his relentless effort, his hard work and leadership," she added.
Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala, meanwhile, in a statement to news agency ANI said the party will not stake claim to the Leader of Opposition “till we have the strength”.
"We will not stake a claim to the Leader of Opposition till we have the strength of 54 & since we don't have we're not going to stake a claim," Surjewala said.