Jammu and Kashmir Bill divides Opposition

NCP abstained from voting though it supported the Bill.

While NCP abstained from voting though it supported the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill, Trinamool Congress walked out over the way the Bill was brought in Rajya Sabha. The bill was passed by 125-61.

The bill to bifurcate Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories became another legislation that broke the Opposition unity once again in Rajya Sabha as AAP joined BSP to break ranks with the Congress-led Opposition.

While NCP abstained from voting though it supported the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill, Trinamool Congress walked out over the way the Bill was brought in Rajya Sabha. The bill was passed by 125-61.

Interestingly, NCP did not find fault with the Bill but abstained as it did not find right the way the government intended to pass the bill. Earlier in the day, NCP MPs Majeed Memon and Vandana Chavan had joined Opposition MPs when they sat in the Well of the House protesting against the government move.

BSP did not join the Opposition protest and its floor leader Satish Chandra Mishra announced his party's support. Another party from the Opposition to support was TDP. BSP and TDP have, of late, been supporting the government.

AAP too voted in favour of the government and ball was set rolling by its supremo and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweet at 1:05 PM, which said, "We support the government on its decisions on Jammu and Kashmir. We hope this will bring peace and development in the state." Kejriwal might have weighed in the Delhi Assembly polls in less than six months where it is locked in an intense battle with BJP.

Congress, Samajwadi Party, RJD, DMK, CPM, CPI, Muslim League, Kerala Congress and MDMK voted against. At least half-a-dozen Congress MPs, three from SP and two RJD were absent while the Left, DMK, Muslim League and Kerala Congress were in full attendance. Two PDP MPs could not vote as they were marshalled out.

Earlier too, Opposition could not get its act together as BJP managed to wean away Opposition parties. In some bills, they managed MPs to be absent while in others they managed their support.

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