11 Dec 2019
Will Citizenship (Amendment) Bill pass Rajya Sabha test?
The Bill, once it becomes a law, will make it easier for persecuted religious minorities from neighboring countries to get Indian citizenship. It has sparked immense outrage across the nation.
The question is - will BJP, with its limited numbers, manage to get it passed?
Context: After hours of debate, Bill passed LS at midnight
On Monday, Union Home Minister Amit Shah tabled the Bill in the Lok Sabha, and hours of debate later, it passed the House with 311 votes in its favor.
During the fiery discussions on the Bill, AIMIM Chief Asaduddin Owaisi tore its copy into pieces, Shah spoke about Congress' past to justify Centre's plans, and Trinamool called the proposed amendments bigoted.
The required magic number is 121, and BJP is confident
For the Bill to pass Rajya Sabha, it needs the support of at least 121 members, since the effective strength of the Upper House is 240.
As per reports, BJP's floor managers are hoping to get 124-130 votes in Bill's favor.
It should be noted that Shiv Sena, which supported CAB in the Lower House, might not do the same today.
BJP has 83 MPs in Rajya Sabha, NDA 108
Now, BJP has 83 MPs in Rajya Sabha, but it does have allies. AIADMK has 11 MPs, LJP 1, RPI (Athawale) 1, SAD 3, JD(U) 6, Asom Gana Parishad 1, Bodoland People's Front 1 and Paattali Makkal Katchi 1.
This takes the total count to 108.
Not only this, but some non-NDA parties are also supporting the Bill.
So, which non-NDA parties are supporting CAB?
Fortunately, for BJP, some rivals are supporting CAB. These include Biju Janata Dal, which has 7 MPs, YSR Congress, which has 2 MPs, and Telugu Desam Party, which also has 2 MPs. This takes the total to 119.
Further, four of the six independent MPs and four nominated ones are also expected to support CAB.
Their support will mean 127 votes in CAB's favor.
BJP's job seems easy, opposition doesn't have numbers
On the other hand, Congress has 46 MPs in the House, the largest for any opposition party. Trinamool, which is also staunchly opposing the Bill, has only 13 MPs.
Despite lacking numbers, BJP has managed to get several Bills passed in the Parliament since taking power this May. And this time might not turn out to be any different either.