Delhi ordinance: NDA, I.N.D.I.A evenly poised in RS; all eyes on non-aligned parties

New Delhi: The ruling NDA will have to lean on the support of Biju Janata Dal, YSR Congress Party, nominated members and Independents in the Rajya Sabha to ensure the passage of the bill to replace the Delhi Services Ordinance.

While there is no official word on when the bill, which was approved by the Cabinet on Tuesday, will be brought to Parliament, several parties have issued whips to their members to remain present in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday.

The NDA is comfortably placed in the Lok Sabha. However, the two alliances — BJP-led NDA and Opposition’s INDIA bloc — are evenly poised in the Rajya Sabha though the ruling coalition has always managed to get the support of non-aligned parties to ensure passage of its legislative business in the Upper House.

Some members have written to the Rajya Sabha chairman not to allow the bill on the Delhi services issue as supplementary agenda in the legislative business on Thursday.

The bill is expected to be introduced in the Lok Sabha on Monday, but there was speculation that it could be brought to the Rajya Sabha on Thursday.

The NDA has 101 members in the Rajya Sabha, while the 26-party Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) enjoys the support of 100 lawmakers. The non-aligned parties have 28 members, five members are in the nominated category and three independents.

Of the 28 non-aligned members, seven members of the Bharat Rashtra Samithi are expected to vote with the opposition bloc. The BJD and YSR Congress have nine members each and the ruling alliance will be hoping for their support for the crucial bill.

The BSP, JD(S) and TDP have one member each in the Upper House and which way they will vote will be eagerly watched.

Usually, nominated members are favourably disposed towards the government.

The controversial Delhi ordinance was promulgated by the central government on May 19, a week after the Supreme Court handed over the control of services in Delhi excluding police, public order and land to the elected government headed by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

The ordinance facilitated the setting up of a National Capital Civil Service Authority for the transfer of and disciplinary proceedings against Group-A officers from the DANICS cadre.

Transfer and postings of all officers of the Delhi government were under the executive control of the lieutenant governor before the May 11 top court verdict.

The Aam Aadmi Party, which rules the national capital, had described the ordinance as an “attack” on the federal structure of the Constitution and made it a point to rally the opposition parties to support it.