Who are various leaders in Parliament?

Q.  Which of the following is/are true?

1) Office of whip is just based on convention and is mentioned nowhere in Rules of the House or Parliamentary Statute.
2) Leader of a House has to be a Minister.
3) Leader of Opposition has statutory recognition.

- Published on 02 Mar 17

a. 1, 3
b. 1, 2
c. 2, 3
d. All of the above

ANSWER: All of the above
    Leader of the House -

  • Under the Rules of Lok Sabha, the ‘Leader of the House’ means the prime minister, if he is a member of the Lok Sabha, or a minister who is a member of the Lok Sabha and is nominated by the prime minister to function as the Leader of the House.

  • ‘Leader of the House’ in the Rajya Sabha is a minister and a member of the Rajya Sabha and is nominated by the prime minister to function as such.

  • The leader of the house in either House is an important functionary and exercises direct influence on the conduct of business.

  • He can also nominate a deputy leader of the House.

  • The same functionary in USA is known as the ‘majority leader’.

  • Leader of the Opposition -

  • The leader of the largest Opposition party having not less than 1/10th seats of the total strength of the House is recognized as the leader of the Opposition in that House.

  • His main functions are to provide a constructive criticism of the policies of the government and to provide an alternative government.

  • Therefore, the leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha were accorded statutory recognition in1977.

  • They are also entitled to the salary, allowances and other facilities equivalent to that of a cabinet minister.

  • It was in 1969 that an official leader of the opposition was recognized for the first time.

  • The same functionary in USA is known as the ‘minority leader’.

  • The British political system has a unique institution called the ‘Shadow Cabinet’.

  • It is formed by the Opposition party to balance the ruling cabinet and to prepare its members for future ministerial offices.

  • In this shadow cabinet, almost every member in the ruling cabinet is ‘shadowed’ by a corresponding member in the opposition cabinet.

  • That is why Ivor Jennings described the leader of Opposition as the ‘alternative Prime Minister’.

  • He enjoys the status of a minister and is paid by the government.

  • Whip -

  • Though the offices of the leader of the House and the leader of the Opposition are not mentioned inthe Constitution of India, they are mentioned in the Rules of the House and Parliamentary Statute respectively.

  • The office of ‘whip’, on the other hand, is mentioned neither in the Constitution of Indian or in the Rules of the House nor in a Parliamentary Statute.

  • It is based on the conventions of the parliamentary government.

  • Every political party, whether ruling or Opposition has its own whip in the Parliament.

  • He is appointed by the political party to serve as an assistant floor leader.

  • He is charged with the responsibility of ensuring the attendance of his party members in large numbers and securing their support in favor of or against a particular issue.

  • He regulates and monitors their behavior in the Parliament.

  • The members are supposed to follow the directives given by the whip.

  • Otherwise,disciplinary action can be taken.

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