Bracing for introduction of “The Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill 2023”, at least four Opposition parties — the Congress, the Trinamool Congress, the RJD, the JD(U) and the the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) — have issued whips asking their members to be present in the Rajya Sabha for Thursday and Friday and vote against the Bill.
The Union Cabinet on Tuesday approved the Bill to replace the ordinance. All parties under the INDIA coalition have already extended support to the Aam Aadmi Party’s campaign against the Bill which negates a Supreme Court order that gave executive powers to the Delhi government in service matters, including transfer and posting of officers.
The BRS, which is not part of INDIA coalition, brings in more heft to the Opposition ranks but even then the Upper House arithmetic is skewed in favour of the government. All members of the party have been instructed to be present in the House over the next three days.
As the numbers stand, the Opposition including the BRS has 104 members. But their ranks are depleted with at least three members unwell, including former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and suspension of the AAP’s floor leader Sanjay Singh.
The BJP and its allies together have 102 members. Twenty-three other members belonging to seven parties have not clarified their position either way. The key two among these seven parties are the YSR Congress and the Biju Janata Dal, which have nine members each. Both the parties have often voted with the government. “We shall know our position only at the last minute,” a BJD MP said.