Behind BJP confidence on CAB passage, support from friends, rivals and 2 exes
A day after the contentious Citizenship Amendment Bill, which seeks to give citizenship to persecuted minorities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, was passed in Lok Sabha, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is confident of the bill’s passage in the Rajya Sabha as well, where it does not have a majority.
The BJP is certain that it will get support from parties such as All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), YSR Congress Party, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and Biju Janata Dal (BJD), which are not part of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA). BJP is also counting on adding three more votes to its tally from its former ally, Shiva Sena, after it voted in favour of the bill in the lower house on Monday.
Shiv Sena, which has broken ties with the BJP after falling out over government formation in Maharashtra, had raised several concerns about the provisions of the bill during discussion in Lok Sabha, but eventually voted in favour of the bill that will offer citizenship to Hindus, Christians, Parsis, Buddhists, Sikhs and Jains.
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A senior BJP functionary who spoke to HT on condition of anonymity said the party is confident of garnering support from non-NDA members because these parties had in the past supported the bill seeking the reorganisation of Jammu and Kashmir and abrogation of Article 370; and also the bill that made triple talaq punishable with a three-year jail term.
BJP, which has 83 members in the 245 member house, is counting on support from 11 AIADMK, 7 BJD, 3 Shiv Sena, 2 YSRCP, 2 TDP, and at least three independent MPs in the Rajya Sabha.
The party will also get support from NDA allies, which include 6 from Janata Dal (United) three from Akali Dal, one each from Republican Party of India and Lok Janashakti Party, and a dozen more from smaller parties. There are currently five vacancies in the upper house.
The Opposition that includes Congress, DMK, Trinamool Congress, Rashtriya Janata Dal, Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party, Left parties, Telangana Rashtriya Samithi, Aam Aadmi Party and Janata Dal (Secular) have all opposed the bill and will push for stalling its passage in the upper house.
A clutch of opposition parties have also said that they will push for a review of the bill by a select committee.