1. Home
  2. English
  3. NDA Hopes for Support from “Fractured Opposition” in Rajya Sabha on Crucial Bills
NDA Hopes for Support from “Fractured Opposition” in Rajya Sabha on Crucial Bills

NDA Hopes for Support from “Fractured Opposition” in Rajya Sabha on Crucial Bills

Social Share

Manas Dasgupta

NEW DELHI, June 28: Short of a clear majority in the Rajya Sabha, the Modi 3.0 government is believed to be banking on “fractured opposition” to get its crucial bills passed in the Upper House.

The BJP on its own does not have majority in the Lok Sabha either, but the NDA does and its alliance partners right now are only interested in getting central assistance for their states, Andhra Pradesh and Bihar, and in no mood to cross swords with the Modi government despite its refusal to concede any of their demands like key ministerial berths or the speaker’s post in exchange for support to the government which is still virtually the BJP government.

But the situation in the Rajya Sabha is different. In the Modi 2.0 government, the BJP would get things done in the Rajya Sabha with the support of “friendly parties” like the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) of Odisha, the AIADMK of Tamil Nadu, the YSRCP of Andhra Pradesh and the Bharat Rashtra Samithi of Telangana.

The equation, however, has changed in Modi 3.0 government. In the Upper House, the ruling alliance is still three seats short of a simple majority and all of its “friendly parties” have now turned foes for different reasons.

In 2019, the Opposition had blocked the Land Reform Bill and Triple Talaq Bills in the Rajya Sabha. The Narendra Modi government could pass the Triple Talaq Bill only in its second stint — when it had friendly opposition parties like the BJD, YSRCP, BRS and AIADMK on its side.

But a bruised Naveen Patnaik, who lost power in Odisha, has clearly instructed BJD’s Rajya Sabha MPs to side with the larger opposition; chances are that Jagan Mohan Reddy’s YSRCP may follow suit after being defeated in Andhra Pradesh by the combination of the Telegu Desam Party (TDP) and the BJP, both members of the NDA, though it had announced support to the NDA candidate for the Lok Sabha speaker’s election. If he continue to support the NDA in the Rajya Sabha, it will nothing short of a political hara-kiri for his party in Andhra Pradesh.

The AIADMK has since fallen out with the BJP over the latter’s rising southern star K Annamalai, while in Telangana former chief minister K Chandrashekhar Rao’s BRS which was at the receiving end of PM Modi’s sharp political attacks. It is also bitter against the BJP for the Enforcement Directorate and CBI investigations against its top leaders in the Delhi liquor scam that saw even Mr Rao’s daughter K Kavitha being arrested by the CBI. The Rao family took it as a personal attack and is now unlikely to be as cooperative with a less-mighty BJP.

The BJP-led NDA is just three seats short of a majority in the Rajya Sabha. With the election to 56 Rajya Sabha seats earlier this year, the BJP has inched closer to 100. It managed to win 30 of the 56 seats, taking its score in the Upper House to 97 and the NDA to 118.

The majority mark in the 245-member Rajya Sabha is 123 but with five seats, including four from Jammu and Kashmir and one nominated, the strength of the Upper House is down to 240 and the majority mark to 121.

While it was always understood that the BJP would fight friendlier opposition parties in the states, this time, it ended up demolishing the house of Naveen Patnaik, bringing down the decades-old BJD government in Odisha. However, what may have caused a serious rapture in the working relationship, particularly with respect to the BJD and the BRS, is the perceived personal attacks.

During the peak of the election campaign, a video of Naveen Patnaik’s aide VK Pandian grabbing his trembling hand during a rally went viral. Top BJP leaders shared the video with even the Prime Minister jumping in to promise an inquiry into the reason behind the BJD chief’s “deteriorating health.” He sent out two messages — Naveen Patnaik isn’t in the best of health to rule the state and floated a conspiracy theory behind this deterioration in health. Elections may be over, but Patnaik hasn’t forgotten nor forgiven.

A senior union minister, however, refused to attach much importance to the NDA short of majority in the Rajya Sabha. “It is just a matter of few seats. You saw how even INDIA Alliance partners backed us on the resolution of the Emergency. It’s a divided house. But we aren’t worried about it right now. We will cross the bridge when we come to it,” the minister said referring to INDIA bloc allies like the TMC and the SP supporting the government on the resolution on Emergency.

Government sources say that backchannel talks never dried up with few opposition parties, particularly the TMC, which claims the Centre owes it Rs 7,000 crore under the 100-days work scheme, a matter that comes under the Rural Development Ministry. While the TMC’s top echelons had an icy relationship with Giriraj Singh in Modi 2.0, they are known to have a warm one with Shivraj Singh Chouhan, the present agriculture minister.

A government source suggested that ‘understanding’ on crucial legislations in the Modi 3.0 always remains an option. Even in the last Lok Sabha tenure, the TMC had gone on record to say it wasn’t averse to giving “issue-based support” to the government.

The government source added that writing off YSRCP completely from the picture would be naive. Jagan Mohan Reddy aide Vijay Sai Reddy, who would continue to be YSRCP leader in Rajya Sabha, shares a working relationship with the government. He has already met Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw regarding a few rail projects in Andhra Pradesh and the Metro rail project in Vizag.

The four Lok Sabha seats that come under J&K have been lying vacant for years. Now with the impending Assembly election in the Union Territory of J&K, that too after the delimitation which politically suits the BJP, the party hopes to get two Rajya Sabha seats as and when elections take place.




Your email address will not be published.

Join our WhatsApp Channel

And stay informed with the latest news and updates.

Join Now
revoi whats app qr code