Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha

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Leader of the Opposition in
Rajya Sabha
Rājya Sabhā ke Vipakṣa ke Netā
Emblem of India.svg
Emblem of India
Shri Mallikarjun Kharge takes over the charge of Union Minister for Railways, in New Delhi on June 19, 2013 (cropped).jpg
Mallikarjun Kharge

since 16 February 2021
ResidenceNew Delhi
AppointerWhile parliamentary chairperson of the largest political party in the Rajya Sabha that is not in government
Term length5 years
Inaugural holderShyam Nandan Prasad Mishra (1969–1971)
Salary330,000 (US$4,600)
(excl. allowances) per month

The Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha (IAST: Rājya Sabhā ke Vipakṣa ke Netā) is an elected Member of Rajya Sabha who leads the official opposition in the Upper House of the Parliament of India. The Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha is the parliamentary chairperson of the largest political party in the Rajya Sabha that is not in government.


In the Rajya Sabha until 1969, the title of opposition leader only existed de facto and had no formal recognition, status or privilege. Later, the leader of the opposition was given official recognition and their salary and allowances was extended by the Act, 1977. Since then, the leader in the Rajya Sabha should satisfy three conditions, namely,

  1. he should be a member of the House
  2. of the party in opposition to the Government having the greatest numerical strength and
  3. be recognised by the Chairperson of the Rajya Sabha

In December 1969, the Congress Party (O) was recognised as the main opposition party in the parliament while its leader, Shyam Nandan Mishra plays the role of opposition leader. M. S. Gurupadaswamy was later elected the leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha after Shyam Nandan Prasad Mishra completed his tenure. However, Gurupadaswamy's appointment was declared with no formal announcement.

Role and Responsibilities[edit]

The Leader of Opposition (LoP) looks at government policies formulated for the rights of minorities and demands debate and criticises the government if ruling party tries to avoid debates on such policy. LoP also debates on the country's foreign relations and trade when it poses security threats on the national security.[1][2]

Privileges and salary[edit]

Opposition leaders plays a significant role in government policies and their implementation by the ruling party. Sometimes, opposition leaders questions government about the country's national security and development.[3] After the constitution of India created a separate law on 1 November 1977 for opposition leaders, the salary was extended.[4]

List of Leaders of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha[edit]

Following members have been the Leaders of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha.

No. Portrait Name Term[5] Prime Minister Party
Vacant 13 May 1952 17 December 1969 17 years, 218 days No Official Opposition
1 Shyam Nandan Prasad Mishra 18 December 1969 11 March 1971 1 year, 83 days Indira Gandhi Indian National Congress (O)
2 No image available.svg M. S. Gurupadaswamy 24 March 1971 2 April 1972 1 year, 9 days
Vacant 2 April 1972 30 March 1977 4 years, 362 days No Official Opposition
3 No image available.svg Kamalapati Tripathi 30 March 1977 15 February 1978 322 days Morarji Desai Indian National Congress
4 No image available.svg Bhola Paswan Shastri 24 February 1978 23 March 1978 27 days
(3) No image available.svg Kamalapati Tripathi 23 March 1978 8 January 1980 1 year, 291 days Morarji Desai
Charan Singh
5 Lkadvani.jpg L. K. Advani 21 January 1980 7 April 1980 77 days Indira Gandhi Janata Party
Vacant 7 April 1980 18 December 1989 9 years, 255 days Indira Gandhi
Rajiv Gandhi
No Official Opposition
6 P. Shiv Shankar 18 December 1989 2 January 1991 1 year, 15 days VP Singh Indian National Congress
(2) No image available.svg M. S. Gurupadaswamy 28 June 1991 21 July 1991 23 days P. V. Narasimha Rao Janata Dal
7 Jaipal Sudini Reddy - Kolkata 2004-11-10 03212 Cropped.jpg Jaipal Reddy 22 July 1991 29 June 1992 343 days
8 Sikander Bakht 7 July 1992 16 May 1996 3 years, 314 days Bharatiya Janata Party
9 Shankarrao Chavan 2007 stamp of India (cropped).jpg Shankarrao Chavan 23 May 1996 1 June 1996 9 days Atal Bihari Vajpayee Indian National Congress
(8) Sikander Bakht 1 June 1996 19 March 1998 1 year, 291 days Deve Gowda
IK Gujral
Bharatiya Janata Party
10 Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh in March 2014.jpg Manmohan Singh 21 March 1998 22 May 2004 6 years, 62 days Atal Bihari Vajpayee Indian National Congress
11 Jaswant Singh (cropped).jpg Jaswant Singh 3 June 2004 16 May 2009 4 years, 347 days Manmohan Singh Bharatiya Janata Party
12 The official photograph of the Defence Minister, Shri Arun Jaitley (cropped).jpg Arun Jaitley 3 June 2009 26 May 2014 4 years, 357 days
13 Ghulam Nabi Azad-cropped.JPG Ghulam Nabi Azad 8 June 2014 15 February 2021 6 years, 252 days Narendra Modi Indian National Congress
14 Mallikarjun Kharge 16 February 2021 Incumbent 2 years, 359 days

See also[edit]


  1. "Leader of Opposition: His role and responsibilities – India News". Latest News India. 17 June 2019. Retrieved 27 February 2021.
  2. "Rajya Sabha – Role of The Leader of The House, Leader of the Opposition and Whips Brief History". rajyasabha.nic.in.
  3. Kumar, Sanjay. "Why India Needs an Opposition Leader". thediplomat.com.
  4. Salary and other suitable facilities are extended to them through a separate legislation brought into force on 1 November 1977

Further reading[edit]

Template:Leaders of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha