The second term of Modi Government started with an apprehension of stalemate as far as functioning of Rajya Sabha is concerned. In the first term of Modi, the productivity of Rajya Sabha was very low and most of the time, house was under disruption due to members rallying in the well of the House. As there is not much difference in numbers, same thing was expected in this term also at least for one more year till next Rajya Sabha elections. Yesterday, the apprehensions proved wrong. The controversial Bill , RTI amendment Act was passed in Rajya Sabha with majority members voted for it. The non-NDA allies BJD, TRS and YSRCP extended their support to the Government in passing the Bill. Now, it is an indication that legislative hurdles are over for the Government. Elected Government can move fast with the support of Legislature.
Of course, there are still apprehensions on some Bills which are the most controversial and there is a division within the NDA itself. The Triple Talaq Bill, Citizenship amendment Bill are two in this category. The NDA partner, Janata Dal( United) opposed the Talaq Bill in Lok Sabha. The reaction of AIADMK , another ally is not known. But in the 16th Lok Sabha , AIADMK opposed the Bill totally. However, the non-NDA paty, Biju Janata Dal extended its support to the Bill in Lok Sabha. So, its passage in Rajya Sabha is not that smooth as happened in the case of RTI Bill though both are controversial bills. A different strategy may be adopted in Rajya Sabha. BJP organisers may seek 'walk out from Rajya Sabha strategy' by some of the parties who are opposing the Bill. Already, its indications are there in Lok Sabha. JD(U) walked out from the House before voting takes place. In those lines, BJP may pressurise JD(U), AIADMK( both NDA allies) and TRS and YSRCP to walk out in protest before voting takes place. If this strategy works out, Talaq Bill may become reality in the country. Similarly, the Citizenship amendment Bill which grants exemption to all religious people except Muslims who are considered as minorities in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan from the definition of illegal immigrants and grant the citizenship in due course of time. It is also the most controversial bill. It seems that Government is yet to make up its mind how to go ahead in the light of Assamese resistance. Of course, now it is clear that except these two bills, all bills may have smooth passage in Rajya Sabha. Yesterday's proceedings in Rajya Sabha gave morale boost to Government and demoralising effect on Opposition.
All this is possible because of strategy adopted by Modi after the elections. TDP Rajya Sabha members were made to switch sides , some in UP made to resign, and in the vacancies , improved its strength. This strategy though attracted lot of criticism from intellectuals and political pundits, ultimately it paid dividends to the Government. One way Modi wins and another way values have come down. The amendments to anti-defection law is urgent need of the hour irrespective of political impact.