The Centre’s bill for the control of services in Delhi is set to clear both houses of parliament with Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy’s YSR Congress Party deciding to support the BJP-led Government in parliament on two big votes, including a no-confidence motion on Manipur.
The YSR Congress Party has 9 members in Rajya Sabha and 22 in Lok Sabha, has often supported the Government on critical bills. “We have decided to back the bill,’’ said the party’s parliamentary party leader Vijaysai Reddy. “We would have backed them if Delhi was a full-fledged state. In this case, it is not a full state and there are many areas which lie with the government,” she added.
With this announcement, the ruling NDA looks comfortable with its numbers in the Rajya Sabha. In Rajya Sabha, the NDA has a majority of 123 votes against the 108 votes that the opposition alliance is expected to get. This includes the 92 BJP MPs, their partners such as the AIADMK and other smaller allies.
The Biju Janata Dal with its nine MPs could also be voting with the NDA. “We are yet to take a decision on the issue,’’ said a spokesperson for the party.
Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Rashtra Samit (BRS) has issued a whip to its 7 MPs to vote against the bill when it comes to Parliament next week.
The whip read, “All Members of Parliament of the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (Raya Sabha) are requested to vote against the bill to replace the ordinance on Delhi services, any time that it is brought before the House. All the Members of Parliament of BRS (Rajya Sabha) shall be present in the House on 26, 27 & 28th July 2023 and remain in the House till the voting on the bill is over.’’
The bill seeks to replace an ordinance that the Centre had issued earlier to assert its control over Delhi’s bureaucrats. The ordinance was implemented to override a Supreme Court order that had ruled in favor of the elected government in Delhi, granting it authority over the transfer and appointments of bureaucrats.
Delhi’s ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has been rallying support of different parties in its fight against the Centre’s bill, accusing the BJP of trying to subvert the rule of law while trying to take over control of officers in the capital.
AAP leader and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal travelled across the country, meeting various chief ministers and opposition party leaders to gain their support.
Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on July 26 accepted the no-confidence motion against the government moved by Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi on behalf of opposition parties of I.N.D.I.A alliance. After Gogoi moved the motion, the Speaker asked about the number of members supporting the motion.
On this Rajya Sabha MP and senior advocate Mahesh Jethmalani said the no-confidence motion brought by Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance – the opposition grouping — is a waste of Parliament’s time.
“As often happens with bad losers, the more you shrink, the lower you sink,” the BJP MP tweeted.
“Since 2014 there is no Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha as no opposition party since 2014 has secured the required 10% seats in that House. In spite of having abjectly lost the confidence of the electorate in the polls twice,far from being humble they resort to ridiculous stratagems only to appear relevant,” Jethmalani wrote.