The government has managed to get the fence-sitters along to facilitate the passage of Right to Information (RTI) bill in Rajya Sabha despite the objections raised by the opposition. The government has the support of Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) and YSR Congress Party (YSRCP).
The TRS has changed its stand after Home Minister Amit Shah reportedly spoke to Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao.Another support is expected from Mehbooba Mufti-led People’s Democratic Party. Though Mufti is a bitter critique of the BJP, two of PDP MPs have rendered their support to the bill.
Congress is aware that with the support of the BJP and the TRS, the government has numbers to push the bill. Five legislators have retired on Wednesday which states that the BJP and its allies are short of a majority by six votes.
The government needs the support of 118 members to get the bill passed in the Upper House. The government has garnered 129 votes so far.
UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi had raised strong objections to the proposed changes in the RTI law. She said the centre was “hell-bent on completely subverting the historic RTI Act” and the law, “prepared after wide-spread consultations and passed unanimously by parliament, now stands on brink of extinction.”
Earlier, the Congress and other opposition parties had decided that seven out of 16 pending bills be sent to a Joint Select Committee.