The opposition bloc of 26 parties, which recently came under a new banner of I.N.D.I.A (Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance), will face its first litmus test of unity inside Parliament today with the Narendra Modi government all set to bring the controversial bill to replace the Delhi services ordinance in Rajya Sabha. Parliament proceedings have already been in lurch over the Manipur crisis with the Opposition demanding PM Modi’s statement on the Manipur issue and the Centre going for Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s statement.
The INDIA bloc has a total of 142 members in the Lok Sabha while in the Rajya Sabha, it has around 109 Members, including some independent members like Kapil Sibal, who are projected to cast their votes against the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill. Nevertheless, this count falls short of the required halfway mark of 120 votes if all 238 current members participate in the voting process on that particular day. The total strength of the House is 243, but due to vacant seats, the actual number of majority-mark may be lower.
Among the 26 parties in the opposition alliance, 18 have representation in Rajya Sabha, and together they account for 101 MPs. Additionally, the BRS, with seven MPs, is expected to vote against the Bill, while the YSR Congress, comprising nine MPs, may support it. On the other side, the ruling NDA holds 100 MPs in the Upper House. To reach the required numbers, the NDA will rely on support from nominated members, independents, and some other non-aligned parties. Notably, parties like the BJD, which has nine MPs, have previously sided with the NDA on various matters.
The opposition bloc is working to ensure 100 per cent attendance in the upper house and has even planned to bring ailing leaders to the house to vote against the bill. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s AAP, which is a part of the opposition coalition INDIA, has reacted strongly against the ordinance. The Congress and other opposition parties have also come out against the ordinance.
The government has introduced a draft bill to replace the existing ordinance, aiming to establish an authority responsible for transfers and postings of senior officers in the Delhi government. Alongside this, the government has put forth a list of 13 other draft legislations for deliberation and approval in the Lok Sabha. Notably, while these legislative matters are being addressed, there is also a pending notice for the motion of no-confidence before the House.