NDA managers carry the day with Rajya Sabha approving NJAC Bill

Passage of the Constitution Amendment Bill for creating a Judicial Appointments Commission was the highlight of the nearly seven-week long first budget session.

Updated - December 04, 2021 11:22 pm IST

Published - August 14, 2014 08:32 pm IST - New Delhi

Rajya Sabha MPs Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Kanwar Deep Singh, Naresh Gujral and Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa at Parliament House in New Delhi on Thursday.

Rajya Sabha MPs Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Kanwar Deep Singh, Naresh Gujral and Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa at Parliament House in New Delhi on Thursday.

Winning the Rajya Sabha’s approval for the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Bill on Thursday capped the nearly seven-week Budget session of the Narendra Modi government.

Barring the Insurance Bill to raise the ceiling on foreign direct investment in the sector to 49 per cent, official business, among them the Union and the Railway Budgets, was pushed through by the National Democratic Alliance government, while allowing the Opposition to raise issues of concern to them.

The Modi government was eager to get Parliament’s approval for the Insurance Bill and the changes in labour laws to signal to domestic and foreign investors its intent to speed up economic reforms. Managers of the ruling combine had hoped that since the Insurance Bill was mooted by the UPA government, they would face no hurdle in getting it through the Rajya Sabha, where it is in a minority.

At a press meet, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu regretted the Congress stance on the Bill.

On the NJAC Bill, Mr. Naidu said, “One of the landmark achievements of this session has been that the government has shown unmatched unanimity in passing the Constitution Amendment Bill and the Judicial Appointments Bill. We have achieved what has been debated for 24-odd years.” Citing statistics about the first Budget session of the UPA government in 2004 and of UPA-II in 2009, the Minister said productivity of Parliament had improved now. The minority status of the NDA in the Rajya Sabha offered both an opportunity and challenge.

“For the ruling coalition, it offered a challenge of working with the majority Opposition and for the Opposition, the opportunity of joining hands with the government rising above political considerations for the nation.”

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