The Aam Aadmi Party today suffered a huge setback in its fight against the Delhi services bill as Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik-led Biju Janata Dal’s support to the Centre has assured the bill will comfortably sail through the half-way mark in the Parliament. Sources said the BJD will also oppose the no-confidence motion moved by opposition bloc INDIA against the BJP-led Centre.
The decision of Odisha’s ruling party, which has nine MPs in Rajya Sabha, will help the government cross the halfway mark in the upper house, where the BJP-led NDA does not have full majority on its own.
YSR Congress Party of Jagan Reddy, which has nine members in Rajya Sabha and 22 in Lok Sabha, has already announced its support to the government on the critical bill.
The halfway mark in Rajya Sabha is 120, if all 238 existing members vote that day. The full strength of the House is 245, but there are seven vacancies.
The BJP and allies in the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) have 103 members. The ruling party is also confident of the support of five nominated and one independent MPs.
With support from BJD and YSRCP, the BJP-led government has 127. Sources say N Chandrababu Naidu-led Telugu Desam Party and Mayawati’s BSP, which have one MP each in the upper house, are also likely to support the bill.
Around 109 MPs comprising those from the 26-member opposition alliance INDIA, and some Independents such as Kapil Sibal, are expected to vote against the bill, which will replace the controversial Delhi services ordinance.
Of the 26 parties from the opposition grouping, at least 18 have a presence in Rajya Sabha and have 101 MPs collectively. Besides this bloc, the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) on Monday issued a whip to its seven Rajya Sabha MPs to be present in the House and vote against the bill.
The Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) bill replaces an ordinance for the control of Delhi’s bureaucrats, which was issued by the Centre to override a Supreme Court order that said the elected government in Delhi, not the Centre, has control over the transfer and appointments of bureaucrats.
The Central government will make all the rules related to bureaucrats in Delhi, according to the Delhi Services Bill, accessed exclusively by NDTV.
The bill says the Central government is empowered to make rules on matters related to the tenure, salaries, transfers or posting of officers in Delhi. The Centre will also have the power to decide on any action or probe against officers.
The amendment bill related to the services has some significant omissions compared to the ordinance brought in on May 19.
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