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Congress braces to confront Modi govt

Congress braces to confront Modi govt
Highlights

Congress braces to confront Modi govt, The ruling BJP faced protests in Parliament over the controversial issue when it tabled the Bill in the Lok Sabha on Friday.

Bill amending TRAI Act tabled in Lok Sabha Showdown likely in RS with Cong enjoying majority

New Delhi: Daggers are out between the opposition Congress and the Modi government over the issue of controversial ordinance that legitimises the appointment of former Telecom regulator Nripendra Mishra as Prime Minister’s Principal Secretary by amending the TRAI Act.
Congress braces to confront Modi govt
The ruling BJP faced protests in Parliament over the controversial issue when it tabled the Bill in the Lok Sabha on Friday. The Bill that replaces the ordinance promulgated barely within a week of Modi government coming to power is likely to be debated in the Lok Sabha on Monday and in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.

The Congress made it clear that it was not opposing the appointment of Nripendra Mishra, but was against amending the TRAI Act. The party is of the view that by amending the rules, it would pave way for officials to seek top positions in the government.

On the contrary, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad maintained that the TRAI was the only authority which bars its chairpersons from taking any official. “We are pushing this Bill based upon clear merits. We are quite confident that we will pass it in both the Houses,” he remarked, while arguing that the government wanted to bring TRAI at par with other authorities like Pension Regulatory Authority, etc.

Peeved over being denied the post of Leader of Opposition, the Congress is in no mood to bail out the BJP government, especially over the issue of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Principal Secretary, whom he is desperate to retain with him. While in the Lok Sabha, the BJP-led NDA government will succeed in having its way of passing the Bill, in the Upper House it may face difficulty, as the numbers favour the Congress.

With the help of the Trinamool Congress, the Congress can easily stall the Bill, which will be a major setback for the Modi government. The Congress, which has the strength of 68 MPs, can prevent the BJP for passing the Bill with the help of Trinamool Congress - 12, JD (U) – 12, NCP - 6, INLD - 2, CPI - 2, CPM - 9 and RJD -1, which add up to 112 MPs, as against the BJP, which has a strength of 43 MPs, besides Allies that include Shiv Sena - 3, SAD - 3 and TDP - 6 that add up to mere 57 MPs.

Political parties like the SP and the BSP can adopt their own strategy, besides the regional parties having a couple of their representatives.

Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu is busy holding confabulations with the Allies of the BJP to resolve the crisis. In case, the BJP fails to muster the numerical strength, it will exercise the option of convening the joint session of Parliament. In the Joint Session, the ruling dispensation will be comfortably placed to pass the crucial legislation that is more personal in nature to Modi, as compared to other more important legislations that require the joint sitting of both the Houses of Parliament.

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