New Delhi: Parliamentary Affairs minister Pralhad Joshi suggested that it would be unlikely that Congress gets the position of Leader of Opposition (LoP) in Parliament.

Speaking to reporters, on Saturday, Joshi said that he will follow the rule book and maintained that Congress did not have enough numbers in Parliament.

The Congress, with 52 seats, is the largest opposition party but still falls short by two seats to constitute 10% of the total seats in Parliament, which is the criterion to qualify as LoP.

Joshi said that the new speaker will take a call on awarding the Leader of Opposition status to the Congress stating that no decision regarding the issue has been made yet.

Joshi further stated that the Congress has been changing its stance on issues such as Triple Talaq. He also asked the Congress to take a clear stance on the issue, on whether they are in favour of women empowerment or not. Stating that the issues was more about gender equality, rather than a religious issue, Joshi said, “While in Hindus a marriage gets nullified after court proceedings, a Muslim woman suffers injustice instantaneously”.

Joshi also iterated that the bill was introduced in Parliament after consultation with Muslim women and in doing so, the government had completed its formality.

“What use will the Supreme Court’s verdict be if the parliament does not frame laws that will empower women? Even after apex court’s verdict, there have been hundreds of Triple Talaq cases registered,” he stated.

The Parliamentary Affairs ministers also spoke about ‘One Nation One Election’ concept and said that it is not a personal agenda of PM Narendra Modi or political agenda of the BJP and the NDA. He remarked that given the current state with elections to various states at different points of time, the Union government is hardly left with two and a half years to implement schemes and policies.

He also said that political parties should also consider minimising the financial burden of conducting multiple elections.

Joshi said that though it is unlikely that ‘One Nation One Election’ may not come to fruition by 2024, the prons and cons of the concept should be discussed. He stated that the party will consider and recommended changes with an open mind. “Of the 20 invited, 21 parties attended, and many were in favour of the idea.”