If the SP and BSP abstain from voting in Rajya Sabha on the lokpal bill on Wednesday - as they did in Lok Sabha on Tuesday - the government stands in with a chance to get the legislation passed, but with a wafer-thin majority.
The government does not seem to have the numbers in the Upper House if the two Uttar Pradesh parties join hands with the opposition parties led by the BJP and the Left on key amendments.Such a scenario would see the bill falling in Rajya Sabha or passing with amendments that would be in conflict with the clauses of the bill passed by Lok Sabha.
A fallen bill in Rajya Sabha would imply either a joint session to get it passed, or reconsideration of the amendments by Lok Sabha, or the bill going into cold storage like the women's reservation bill.
The BJP had been counting on finding common ground with the Left, SP and BSP on some amendments, but the SP and BSP's walkout in Lok Sabha threatens to pour cold water on its plans.
"We are trying to make common cause with the Left, SP and BSP on some key amendments, including an independent CBI, safeguarding MPs, making lokayuktas optional for states in the interest of the federal structure, broad basing the selection of the CBI director among other issues," a BJP leader said.
"We are also convincing ally Shiv Sena, anyway opposed to the lokpal, to vote with us on our amendments."
An abstention by the SP and BSP, the leader feared, would mean the bill might pass.
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