It has been learnt that Mamata has reached out to her Tamil Nadu counterpart and All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) chief J Jayalalithaa in order to grab the post of Leader of Opposition and talks are reportedly underway between the two powerful women leaders.

The Congress has, however, maintained silence so far on this issue and it’s indeed certain of sorts that this ‘alliance’ of East and South won’t let Congress to emerge as the prime Opposition in the Parliament. This may further increase the party’s problems as it has already been reduced to just 44 seats, 11 away from the required number of 55 to be deemed as main Opposition.

Both Mamata and Jayalalithaa put up a resounding performance in their respective bastions in the midst of Modi wave. In West Bengal, Mamata’s TMC got 34 seats out of 42, while Jayalalithaa bagged 37 out of the total 39 seats in Tamil Nadu.

The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) has an overall tally of 58 seats but if the aggregate combination of Mamata and Jayalalithaa is put together, the number stands at 73, way ahead of the required mark of 10 percent of total House strength of 543.

In order to gain most out of the available opportunity, Mamata has suggested Jayalalithaa to float an Opposition Block. Jayalalithaa is, however, is yet to give any assurance to the firebrand Bengal leader on this issue.

While Jayalalithaa has already extended congratulation to Modi on his resounding victory in the 16th Lok Sabha elections, Mamata is yet to wish him.

According to sources, adopting a cautious note on the issue, the Congress is in ‘wait and watch mode’. There have, however, been indications that senior Congress leader Kamal Nath, who is being seen as a Protem Speaker, is considered as one of the leading contenders of the constitutional post.

JPN/Bureau

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