Election Duty of MPs May Give Govt Edge in RS
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.