The first national impact of the grand alliance’s emphatic Bihar victory will be felt later this month when the Parliament meets for the winter session late November as an emboldened Opposition is likely to block a host of reform legislation.
A win for the NDA could have given the government much-needed political authority to push its long-pending reform bills but the polls results have given the Opposition more teeth, increasing the political trouble for the ruling regime in floor management.
With the Janata Dal(United)-Rashtriya Janata Dal-Congress alliance marching to a big win in Patna, the landmark goods and services tax (GST) bill, the real estate regulatory authority bill and the ambitious labour reforms are likely to take a back seat. Even the amendments to the land bill -- scrapped ahead of the Bihar polls -- are destined for the cold storage in the foreseeable future.
Janata Dal (United) leader KC TYagi was quick to shift the responsibility of running the Houses to the government. “It depends on the attitude of the government,” he said.
The bruising defeat in Bihar, coming after 15 months of NDA rule at the Centre, is also likely to seriously dent the government’s political authority in Parliament.
“We really can’t say what will happen to the government’s reforms agenda. We just hope that the House can function,” said Biju Janata Dal leader Bhartruhari Mahtab.
In the last session, the Congress, along with the Left, JD(U), DMK and other parties had stalled almost the entire session, demanding the resignation of foreign minister Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje’s over their alleged nexus with former cricket administrator Lalit Modi.
Watch: Why BJP must stick to its development agenda
This time, growing intolerance is likely to be the bone of contention between the two sides. The Congress may also aggressively call for Union minister VK Singh’s resignation for comment on writers, and a host of other issues – including price rise.
“We can look forward to more confrontation and disruption as the Opposition’s intention would be to put the government on the mat,” said Trinamool Congress leader Saugata Roy.
“Brace for a heated winter session,” said a senior Congress leader.