Elec­tion Duty of MPs May Give Govt Edge in RS

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics -

No re­lief on GST bill that needs sup­port of 2/3 MPs

New Delhi: Po­lit­i­cal cir­cles are de­bat­ing how ab­sences of MPs from West Ben­gal, Ker­ala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry due to their pre­oc­cu­pa­tion with on­go­ing Assem­bly polls could im­pact the num­ber game in the Op­po­si­tion-dom­i­nated Ra­jya Sabha dur­ing the 15-day sec­ond phase of bud­get ses­sion start­ing Mon­day. Since most of the MPs on cam­paign duty be­long to the Op­po­si­tion par­ties, there is sus­pense whether the rul­ing side get a ‘tem­po­rary edge’ in man­ag­ing the floor with tac­ti­cal sup­port of ‘flex­i­ble’ re­gional par­ties. While the GST Bill, be­ing a Con­sti­tu­tional Amend­ment Bill re­quir­ing sup­port of two-third MPs in the House, can’t be pushed through even by mak­ing use of th­ese ‘ab­sen­tee MPs, the BJP could get a win­dow of open­ing in mop­ping up sup­port for less con­tro­ver­sial leg­is­la­tions or de­cid­ing on po­lit­i­cally sen­si­tive floor is­sues even if the Congress and its com­mit­ted sup­port­ers refuse to play ball.

West Ben­gal has three more phases of polls on April 25, 30 and May 5. While the cam­paign is about to peak for May 16 poll in Ker­ala, TN and Puducherry. This means most of the RS MPs be­long­ing to the T r i n a moo l C o n g r e s s (12), AIADMK (12), CPM (8), DMK (4), CPI, KC(M), IUML (1 each) along with a cou­ple of Congress MPs from Ker­ala and one from Ben­gal may not be present dur­ing most of this ses­sion. Of th­ese, bar­ring AIADMK, rest are with Op­po­si­tion.

In the cur­rent 245-mem­ber House, Congress is the largest party with 65 mem­bers, fol­lowed by BJP at 47. Since JD(U), Tri­namool, CPM , DMK , CPI, RJD, KCM and IUML of­ten rally with Congress, they mo­bilise a com­bined strength at 102. BJP and its al­lies have 61 MPs.

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