With the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 lined up for consideration in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, the Opposition knows it does not have the numbers to defeat it but is determined not to go down without a fight.
To achieve the objective, the Congress and the Trinamool have issued whips to their members to be present in the House during voting on the bill and the demand to send it to a select committee for scrutiny.
There was a bit of flutter on Tuesday as the Shiv Sena moved to the Opposition side after supporting the bill in the Lok Sabha. Also, differences emerged in the JD(U) over its support to the bill with leaders Prashant Kishor and Pawan Kumar Verma criticising the decision.
But the Sena switching sides will not tilt the balance in favour of the Opposition, when voting happens on Wednesday after the allotted six hours of debate on the bill. Apart from the NDA, the BJP is counting on the support of the BJD, TDP, AIADMK and YSRCP, taking its tally to 128 as compared to the Opposition’s 112 (see box).
“The debate on the CAB is not about numbers but more about ‘Majority vs Morality’. We will seek all answers,” said TMC MP Derek O’Brien.
Meanwhile, the US Commission for International Religious Freedom threatened sanctions against Union home minister Amit Shah for pushing the CAB, prompting MEA to note USCIRF has no locus standi on the matter.