NEW DELHI: The BJP once again managed to break Opposition unity in the Rajya Sabha as the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill, 2019 was passed, with many opposition parties supporting the government’s move.
The motion to adopt the Bill was passed with 121 voting in favour and 61 against.Sources said, the BJP reached out to all regional parties a day before it sought support for ‘an important bill’. However, as Home Minister Amit Shah introduced the Bill, the Opposition protested that it was not even mentioned in the list of business and that the revised list of business was circulated after Shah introduced the bill.
The Congress held a sit in protest in the well of the house along with some other Opposition parties.
What helped the government, however, was the walkout staged by NDA ally JD (U) and TMC members even though both opposed the move. The NCP decided to abstain.Also supporting the government were lawmakers from AAP, BSP and TDP who joined the treasury benches during voting. Other regional parties BJD and YSRCP supported the bill.
Despite not having a majority in the Upper House, the BJP has been able to manage the numbers in its favour. The upper house has already passed contentious bills like triple talaq and UAPA bill through voting.
India briefs UNSC P-5, other countries on govt’s J&K decision
India on Monday briefed the envoys of five permanent members of the UN Security Council and several other nations about its decision to scrap Article 370, which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir, and bifurcate the state. In the briefings, it was conveyed that the decisions were internal to India and they are aimed at providing good governance, promoting social justice and ensuring economic development in Jammu and Kashmir, official sources said. It was learnt that Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale briefed the envoys of the US, Britain, France, China and Russia, the five permanent UNSC members. Other senior officials apprised envoys of a number of other countries. In the light of interest expressed by members of the diplomatic community, senior MEA officials briefed the envoys of several countries, the sources said.
Congress chief whip in House quits
In an embarrassment to the Congress, its chief whip in RS Bubaneshwar Kalita resigned citing differences with the party over its J&K stand. Samajwadi Party’s Sanjay Seth also resigned to join Sanjay Nagar, who had quit last week. Both are likely to join the BJP.