BJP wooing partners to garner RS numbers

 The Narendra Modi-led BJP has kept its arms open for more allies to support the new NDA government to address lack of numbers in the Rajya Sabha, which could crea­te problems for the passage of bills.

Despite having 282 members in the Lok Sabha (not to mention 54 MPs from its all­ies), the BJP knows better than swaggering in the Parliament corridor as it needs support in the Upper House to pass key bills that are part of Modi’s agenda, party leaders said.

A bill becomes an act of Parliament after both the Houses pass it and the President gives assent to it. At present, 60 bills, including the Judicial Commission Bill and the Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, are pending in the Rajya Sabha.

In the 240-member Rajya Sabha, the NDA has just 64 MPs while the Congress-led UPA has 80 and the Left parties have 11 members. Till the end of 2015, the saffron party does not see any scope for increasing its strength and cross the halfway mark of 121. “Therefore, support from smaller, non-Congress parties is welcome,” BJP leaders said.

Even in the middle of the Friday euphoria, Narendra Modi appealed for support in his Victory speech from Vadodara. He said he would need the support of everyone though he has sufficient numbers to run the government.

BJP leaders, led by Rajnath Singh and Nitin Gadkari, also welcomed support from parties in the “process of nation building”. Their appeal appeared to be directed at regional parties like the Jayalalitha-led AIADMK and the Naveen Patnaik-led BJD, which have 10 and six members in the Upper House, respectively.

Though no feelers have been sent to either Jayalalitha or Patnaik yet, BJP leaders see in their “good wishes” for Modi a channel open for future cooperation.

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