Suspension of Oppn MPs eases pressure on BJP in RS

Suspension of Opposition MPs eases pressure on BJP in Rajya Sabha

At present, the NDA and friendly parties have 120 MPs in a House of 245

The suspended MPs are from Congress, Trinamool Congress, CPI, CPI-M and Shiv Sena. Credit: PTI Photo

With TRS and YSR Congress that used to come to the rescue of the Narendra Modi government playing hard ball, the suspension of 12 Opposition MPs will be a welcome relief for the ruling BJP in Rajya Sabha where the numbers could go against it depending on attendance.

At present, the NDA and friendly parties have 120 MPs in a House of 245, including six vacancies, while the Congress, its allies and other Opposition parties count for 104. BJD has nine MPs while YSR Congress has six.

Technically, the BJP could cross the majority-mark in the House, if it can count on the support of one of the two independents and TDP's one MP.

Read more: 12 Rajya Sabha MPs suspended for entire Winter Session; Opposition mulls boycott

However, TRS and YSR Congress, which have given constructive support to Bills when the government was in trouble, have had adverse relations with the BJP for some time. TRS has openly come against the BJP in Telangana while YSR Congress has shed its inhibition to attack the BJP on state-related issues.

Along with TRS and YSR Congress, if the BJD also decides to join hands with the Opposition, then it could spell trouble for the ruling party in the Upper House, especially when there are absentees on its side. In such a scenario, the Opposition numbers could rise to 119, including Kerala Congress' Jose K Mani who was elected on Monday.

But with the suspension of 12 MPs from the Opposition side, the BJP is comfortably placed with controversial Bills likely to come in the coming days. Several parties have reservations about the bills to replace ordinances providing for extension of tenure of Directors of CBI and Enforcement Directorate.

The 12 suspended MPS -- Phulo Devi Netam, Chhaya Verma, Ripun Bora, Rajamani Patel, Syed Nasir Hussain and Akhilesh Prasad Singh (Congress), Priyanka Chaturvedi and Anil Desai (Shiv Sena), Dola Sen and Shanta Chhetri (Trinamool Congress), Elamaram Kareem (CPI-M) and Binoy Viswam (CPI) -- are also active lawmakers, who have been keeping the government on its toes on issues.

Among these 12, Kareem, Hussain and Sen were suspended when they protested against the contentious farm bills, when it was passed, on 20 September, 2020. They were suspended along with five other MPs and it had led to an unprecedented overnight dharna in Parliament House and subsequent boycott of the remaining part of the Monsoon Session then.

Around 20 MPs have been suspended under Rule 256 (suspension of MPs) of Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business from Rajya Sabha with the first being Godey Murahari in September 1962. Murahari was suspended in July 1966 and September 1966.

Raj Narain, whose case against Indira Gandhi had led to the imposition of Emergency, was suspended four times – July 1966, December 1967, August 1971, July 1974.

Seven MPs were suspended for unruly behaviour during the passage of the Women's Reservation Bill in March 2010.

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