Rajya Sabha on Tuesday referred the controversial enemy property bill to a select committee for closer scrutiny, and there are clear hints that the bill to dilute the whistleblowers law could meet the same fate.
The bill – that seeks to replace an ordinance issued in January – proposes to empower the government to seize properties inherited or purchased from people who migrated to Pakistan or China nearly five decades ago.
Several opposition MPs had opposed the bill in the Lok Sabha last week.
It will create two types of Indian citizens, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor had warned. One, which can inherit properties and another, that will have their properties taken away by the State.
But the ruling alliance, which has a clear majority in the Lok Sabha, brushed aside their concerns.
It is not something that the government can do in the Rajya Sabha where it is in a minority.
A senior Congress leader told HT that the party wanted the whistleblowers bill to be sent to a committee of Rajya Sabha MPs too unless the government withdraws amendments that dilute the UPA-era whistleblowers protection law.
“We have decided that the whistleblowers bill also should not be passed in its present form,” he added, signalling that the opposition would not fight shy of flexing its muscles in the RS.
On a high after sending the enemy property bill to the select committee, a Congress leader said the opposition would try to amend the Aadhaar bill on Wednesday to make their point. “We have serious concerns about invasion of privacy of individuals... Our amendments will reflect this sentiment,” he said.
Since it is a money bill, Lok Sabha has the right to reject amendments accepted by the RS. “But we would have made our point,” he said.