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Citizenship Amendment Bill faces Rajya Sabha test: How the numbers stack up

In the Upper House, NDA has 94 members and it will have to garner the support of at least 121 members to get the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 passed. AIADMK, JD(U) and Akali Dal have 11, 6 and 3 members respectively. Besides, BJD with 7 MPs, and YSR Congress and TDP with 2 each are backing the Bill. The BJP has 83 members in Rajya Sabha.

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Updated: Dec 10, 2019, 11.51 PM IST
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The opposition ranks have been boosted by the decision of the six-member Telangana Rashtra Samithi, which has often backed the Modi government on its key legislative agenda, to oppose the bill.
(This story originally appeared in on Dec 10, 2019)
NEW DELHI: NDA government's Citizenship (Amendment) Bill is set to face the Rajya Sabha test on Wednesday. While the Bill sailed through the Lok Sabha on Monday with 311-80 votes, the BJP-led ruling alliance will need outside support in the Upper House to get the legislation passed.

In the Upper House, the NDA has 94 members and its floor managers will have to garner the support of at least 121 members to get the Bill passed.

Given the BJP's recent successes in managing numbers in the Rajya Sabha on important bills, it is unlikely that the Citizenship Bill will face any hurdles in the Upper House.

Sources in the BJP-led NDA said they were sure of getting near 124-130 votes in the Rajya Sabha which has an effective strength of 240 members.

BJP allies AIADMK, JD(U) and Akali Dal have 11, six and three members respectively in the Upper House. Besides, regional parties like the BJD with seven MPs, and YSR Congress and the TDP with 2 each are backing the Bill. The BJP has 83 members in Rajya Sabha.

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Seven independents and nominated members besides a number of regional parties with one member each will also back the Bill, BJP floor managers said.

Long-time BJP ally Shiv Sena, which is now a partner in the Congress-NCP alliance, indicated it may not support the Bill if its queries are not asnwered. The Shiv Sena had backed the Bill in Lok Sabha. The Maharashtra party with a history of pursuing strident Hindutva agenda has three members in Rajya Sabha.

The opposition ranks have been boosted by the decision of the six-member Telangana Rashtra Samithi, which has often backed the Modi government on its key legislative agenda, to oppose the bill.

The opposition camp includes the Congress, TMC, BSP, Samajwadi Party, DMK, RJD, Left, NCP and the TRS with 46, 13, four, nine, five, four, six, four and six members respectively, totalling 97.

The support of Shiv Sena, Aam Aadmi Party and some smaller parties may take it near 110.

Some members, like the ailing Amar Singh, may not attend the House for health or other personal reasons.

The bill seeks to provide Indian citizenship to refugees from Hindu, Christian, Sikh, Buddhist and Zorastrian communities coming from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan after facing religious persecution there.

Though the opposition has slammed the bill, alleging it is discriminatory against Muslims and violates the Constitution, Home Minister Amit Shah has asserted that people belonging to any religion should not have any fear under the Modi government.

(With inputs from PTI)

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