This article is part of Daily News Tadka, PB twisty take on important news of the day.
BJP is set to face a strong opposition in the parliament with respect to the land bill, as the initial supporters of the bill have decided to flip sides. In a clear statement yesterday Naveen Patnaik’s BJD (Biju Janta Dal) stated that it will oppose the bill.
Not the first party in the group, though. Post the declaration of Rahul Gandhi’s fierce battle against PM Narendra Modi whom he termed anti-poor, all the small parties are taking turns in weighing their options and reflecting on past choices.
Reason behind the sudden change in the direction of wind you may ask. Honey moon period of Modi govt. coming to an end. Opposition getting united and stronger. Congress getting a boost after re-charged Rahul’s return, erstwhile Janata Parivaar members getting together again and Sitaram Yechury becoming the Secretary of CPM (he is perceived to advocate pro Congress position). “Congress is not dead, opposition is not dead” mantra is back.
The 2nd largest party in opposition in Lok Sabha Congress is J Jayalalitha’s AIADMK which is also “inclined to oppose” the land bill. Modi’s BJP enjoys absolute majority in Lok Sabha. However, in Rajya Sabha it is in a minority. The politics of India which for decades has been anti-Congressism has now shifted to anti-BJPism. As a result all small parties are scurrying their way through taking their places under the roof of the two ring masters. BJP is now the no. 2 party in states like Odisha, W. Bengal, Tamil Nadu on the basis of seats in Lok Sabha. Hence it is very difficult for the ruling parties in these states to support BJP on important bills as it may lead them to lose further ground to BJP.
The opposition with Congress (68), Samajwadi Party (15), Trinamool (12), Janta Dal (united) (12), Left (11), AIADMK (11), Biju Janta Dal (7), Nominated (5), Janta Dal (secular) (1), Kerala Congress (M) (1) , Rashtriya Janata Dal (1), rounding off to 148, is far higher than those in favor which comes up to a total of 69. There is one more category, the late latiffs or the undecided ones stand at 27. The above stats make the hallmark of majority 123 look impossible.
The Government has its alternatives though – joint session of Parliament – as it stands at a majority in the Lok Sabha. It is interesting to see what step the government takes! Or will it go for another round of ordinance. It has happened in the past, so there is a precedence. But it does not give confidence to stakeholders as the ordinance is valid only for 6 months. Will the noise and fuss created by the opposition over land bill be enough to draw out the echoes of change? Remains to be seen….