Arch rivals Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party voted in favour of the government in Rajya Sabha on Tuesday to defeat Opposition-backed amendments demanding that the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) be set up only after all states come on board.
Key UPA ally Trinamool Congress stayed away from the vote, indirectly helping the government, which doesn’t have a majority in the upper House. It had absented itself from a similar vote in Lok Sabha on Monday too, when the government defeated the Opposition-sponsored motions by a 227-146 margin.
On Tuesday, the amendments moved by the BJP and Left were defeated with the government getting 105 votes against the Opposition’s 82, prompting a walkout by the latter.
The situation of amendments to the President’s address of March 12 arose after the Opposition insisted on an assurance from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that the Centre wouldn’t go ahead with the NCTC without the consent of the states.
Earlier, replying to the debate on the motion of thanks to the President’s address, Singh said, “There may be differences of opinion on how the NCTC will function. But with discussions, broad-based consensus can be reached.”