RS did not have Leader of Opposition for 34 years: VP

RS did not have Leader of Opposition for 34 years: VP

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu speaks in the Rajya Sabha during Winter Session of Parliament in New Delhi. PTI

Rajya Sabha did not have a Leader of the Opposition for 34 years since Rajya Sabha came into being 66 years ago.

Former prime minister Manmohan Singh has the distinction of being the Leader of Opposition and Leader of the House in Rajya Sabha for the longest duration of over six years and 10 years, respectively.

Call it a reader’s delight as the new calendar for Rajya Sabha released by its Chairman and Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu has many such interesting details, which Naidu flagged while also expressing concern over lack of a shared Parliamentary agenda coming in the way of the nation "fulfilling its quest."

“I am pained by our inability to ensure convergence of different agendas into a national agenda. No nation can emerge stronger without such a shared parliamentary agenda. Parliamentary institutions can’t be held captive to the competing agendas,” Naidu said amid the on-going washout of Parliamentary proceedings in Winter Session.

He referred to the persisting turbulence in the Upper House and recalled that all 12 preceding chairmen of the Rajya Sabha had insisted on ensuring effective functioning of the House.

The calendar, which is a chronicle of political times since 1952, featuring 65 leaders of different parties, mentions 12 preceding Chairmen of Rajya Sabha, besides top leaders from various parties, who were members of the Upper House.

The institution of LoP in Rajya Sabha was formally created through an Act in 1977. Late Bhola Pawan Shastry was the first LoP during February-March, 1978 under this Act, under which the opposition status is conferred on a party with one tenth of the strength of the House.

S Radhakrishnan was the first Chairman of Rajya Sabha.