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HindustanTimes Fri,24 Oct 2014

Insurance bill: BJD in support, Oppn still confident of numbers

Saubhadra Chatterji, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, August 03, 2014
First Published: 00:35 IST(3/8/2014) | Last Updated: 00:40 IST(3/8/2014)

Naveen Patnaik’s Biju Janta Dal (BJD), that has 7 Rajya Sabha MPs, on Saturday threw its weight behind the Insurance (amendment) Bill.

The support for the government swelled even as nine Opposition parties, led by Congress and Trinamool, readied its parliamentary notices to send the bill, which is slated for Monday, to select committee for further review.

BJD leader Bhartruhari Mahtab told HT, “BJD will support Insurance Bill with the new amendments moved by the government.”

Trinamool leader Derek O’Brien, however, rejected any chink in the armour of the Opposition: “TMC had consistently opposed the insurance bill. Now, more parties like the Congress and the Left share our views. The government does not have numbers in Rajya Sabha,” he told HT.

O’Brien and Congress’ Ghulam Nabi Azad have moved two separate motions to the Upper House chairman Hamid Ansari. According to rules, 11 members have to support a motion. But if any one of them does not get himself counted when the motion is moved in House, the entire motion gets dropped.

The Congress-sponsored motion includes Satish Mishra (BSP), KC Tyagi (JDU), Ramgopal Yadav (SP), Praful Patel (NCP) among others. The Opposition faces a stiff challenge to keep its flock together. 

With the current strength of Rajya Sabha at 242, the NDA (61 MPs) needs at least 122 votes to pass the bill if the full House participates in voting.


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