With an eye on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s reply in the Lok Sabha to the Motion of Thanks to the President’s Address, the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha reshuffled the batting order on Monday. Trinamool Congress’s Derek O’Brien, BSP’s Satish Mishra and Congress’s Digvijaya Singh, who would have spoken on Monday, will now speak on Tuesday — the House will not get adjourned after obituary references to sitting Rajya Sabha MP Madan Lal Saini, who died on Monday, although that is the convention — after Modi has given his reply. This would help tackle some of the issues he might raise in his speech. After the drubbing in the Lok Sabha polls, these are the first signs of floor coordination between opposition parties after a joint notice was submitted last week on electoral reforms.
Heartburn In House
There is no dearth of sulking leaders when it comes to the 52-member Congress group in the Lok Sabha. Manish Tiwari, for instance, seems to be so upset over the selection of Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury as the floor leader by Sonia Gandhi that he is rarely seen in the House. Even when he does come, Tiwari sits far from the rest of the pack, and leaves soon enough. The second contender, Shashi Tharoor, otherwise a regular, is similarly missing. The third claimant, Kodikunnil Suresh, is the only one who appears reconciled to having been overlooked.
While the JD(U) may be an NDA ally, it might not support the government on every move in Parliament. Giving out such hints, JD(U) MP from Munger Rajiv Ranjan Singh, while participating in the debate on the Motion of Thanks to the President’s Address, said that the government should focus on the country’s basic problems and avoid controversial things such as the triple talaq Bill. When the Bill comes to Parliament, Singh said his party will “show what it feels about it”. His advice was to sensitise the Muslim community. The BJP MPs who, until then, were cheering Singh, remained silent.