Govt strategy: split the Opposition to pass bills

  • HT Correspondents, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Nov 25, 2014 22:19 IST

NDA managers have opened up channels of communication with a number of Opposition parties to ensure the passage of its key reforms bills like the insurance bill, in this session of parliament.

Top sources added that PM Narendra Modi, who appealed to all parties Monday to work together on national agenda, has also made it clear to colleagues that the government must push its agenda through this session.

The government is confident about the support of the AIADMK, the BJD and the BSP in Rajya Sabha. Put together, these three parties have 32 Rajya Sabha MPs. It is also talking to SP and other smaller parties. Ruling NDA has 57 members in the house, whose current strength is 240.

“The Trinamool, Left parties and the JD(U) would oppose the bill. But they would eventually get isolated inside the Rajya Sabha,” a union minister told HT. Sharad Pawar’s NCP (6 MPs) and smaller outfits with 1-2 seats and some independents are likely to add to the government’s strength, according to sources.

The government has not given up its hope on the Congress’ support either. A source added that it may accept some of the Congress’ demands on the Insurance bill.

On Tuesday, the government chose not to pass the Delhi special establishment bill in Lok Sabha amid an Opposition’s walkout. Signaling its intent to take the Congress along, the passage of the bill was deferred for Wednesday. “We want them to participate in discussions but we have also shown that we are firm on our agenda,” parliamentary affairs minister Venkaiah Naidu told HT.

The Select Committee on Insurance Act (amendment) Bill got extension till till December 12 to submit its report. Trinamool spokesperson Derek O’Brian said, “The BJP is already sounding cocky. But let us see how they manage to pass the insurance bill.”

Finance minister Arun Jaitley told BJP MPs that the government is trying to introduce the GST bill in this session. He added that the government will try to clear apprehensions by states which have arisen out of multi-level taxation system in the country.

“We are for greater consensus on the GST bill as it is a constitutional amendment bill. We are ready to make changes to accommodate as many concerns as we could,” another minister said.

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