After winning votes in the Lok Sabha on its proposed National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC), yesterday, the government survived the Rajya Sabha test too today, defeating BJP and Left amendment motions on the issue.
Both the Samajwadi Party and the BSP voted with the government. The SP had supported the government in the Lok Sabha too, but the BSP had walked out. After the vote in the RajyaSabha today, the BJP, Left and BJD walked out of the Upper House.
The BJP had, after yesterday’s vote in the Lok Sabha, said numbers exposed that the government was in a minority. The BJP’s Sushma Swaraj tweeted, “There were 227 votes in favour of the Government. It is 45 less than the majority. The Government’s majority claim has been exposed.” She added, “They have been saying – ‘We have the number, we have the number’. Mr Prime Minister Where is the number?”
Referring to the fact that the Trinamool, a UPA ally, had walked out before the Lok Sabha vote, she said, “It is for the first time that even Ministers of alliance partner (TMC) walked out of the House. It is huge embarrassment for the Government.”
The BJP and the Left have pushed for votes against the government for violating the federal structure of the country via the NCTC. The votes in both Houses were held in the form of amendments moved by the Left and the BJP to the Motion of Thanks given by the Prime Minister for the President’s address. Last week, President Pratibha Patil inaugurated the Budget session of Parliament with her speech in which she outlined the agenda of the government. The NCTC was mentioned. The opposition wanted that reference to be deleted. The Prime Minister in his Motion of Thanks, yesterday in the Lok Sabha and today in the Rajya Sabha, said that consultations with state governments will continue about the plans and powers for the NCTC.
He also reiterated that the Home Minister will meet with all chief ministers on April 16 to discuss their concerns. The NCTC has the right to arrive in any state, conduct searches for suspects, and make arrests. State governments say this impedes upon their right to handle law and order, and that the state police force must play a larger role in the NCTC’s operations.