Kolkata: After pulling out its six ministers from the Mamata Banerjee government in West Bengal, Congress with 42 members becomes the single, second largest party in the 294-member Assembly.

Congress was the coalition partner of the Trinamool Congress-led government since the new dispensation came to power in May last year ending the 34-year Left Front rule in the state.

Trinamool Congress has 185 members.

Asked if the Congress would now stake claim to enjoy the status of the Leader of the Opposition in the House as a single party, WBPCC president Pradip Bhattacharya said "We will discuss this issue with the AICC high command."

"We are the single second largest party in the House after Trinamool Congress, which the Left Front was enjoying as a combination of parties for enjoying status of Leader of the Opposition," WBPCC general secretary Omprakash Mishra said.

Asked for comment, Congress legislature party leader Md Sohrab said that the issue of leader of the opposition would be taken up later.

The Left Front has a total strength of 60, with CPI(M) having 38 members. Suryakanta Mishra of the CPI(M) enjoys the status of the Leader of the Opposition.

Apart from CPI(M), other Front partners in the House were Forward Bloc (11), RSP (seven), CPI two), Marxist Forward Bloc (one) and Socialist party (one).

Assembly Speaker Biman Banerjee was not available for comment.


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