GUWAHATI: The Gauhati high court on Tuesday has put an interim stay on the Assam Assembly Speaker’s order in which Congress Legislature Party leader Debabrata Saikia has lost the status of Leader of the Opposition in the 126-member Assam Assembly.
Last week, an official notification issued by the Speaker said the Assembly had withdrawn the status from Saikia with Congress’s strength in the House was not sufficient than the required number of 21 MLAs.
The party had won 26 seats in the 2016 Assembly elections to emerge as the single largest party. Two of its members died, while two others have resigned. It lost two seats held by it in the bypolls.
Following the development, Saikia has moved the GHC seeking its intervention.
“Firstly, one has to be the Leader of the largest recognized party, i.e. the party having the greatest numerical strength in the Opposition. Secondly, the MLA concerned has to be recognized as the leader of the largest recognized Opposition party by the Speaker. As such, since Mr. Saikia fulfilled both of these requirements and since the Notification under challenge did not withdraw his recognition for non-fulfillment of these requirements, he is still legally entitled to remain the Leader of the Opposition,” said Saikia citing court’s order.
The high court has issued notices returnable within two weeks to the Secretary and Principal Secretary of the Assam Legislative Assembly, along with the Chief Secretary, Assam.