New Delhi, Sep 19: The government has reached out to few "friendly" opposition parties in the Rajya Sabha as it gears up to table the contentious farm bills in the Upper House tomorrow.
While the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance is yet to have a clear majority of its own in the 245-member Rajya Sabha, many regional parties have backed it for the last several sessions to ensure passage of various legislations proposed by the government.
BJP leaders expressed confidence that they will get the support of over 130 members, including nine of the AIADMK, and seven of the TRS and six of the YSR Congress -- all three of whom are not part of the ruling alliance, if a division of votes is sought on these bills.
The BJP has the highest tally with 86 seats, followed by 40 of the Congress.
The three members of the SAD are sure to vote against the bills, but Shiv Sena, a former BJP ally and now in opposition, has expressed it support for these bills. The Maharashtra party has three members in Rajya Sabha.
Several other regional parties, including three-member Aam Aadmi Party, Samajwadi Party with eight seats, and BSP with four, have joined the opposition's ranks in protest against these bills but it may not prove enough to hinder their passage.
A number count of parties that have come out against these draft legislations suggests that there are as of now nearly 100 MPs opposing them. There is no clarity about the stand of some small parties which have around a dozen members put together.
Since the Modi government assumed office for its second time in 2019, its rivals have not been able to scuttle any of its major bills due to a rise in the ranks of treasury benches and a corresponding fall in the opposition ranks.
The Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill were passed by Lok Sabha on Thursday, while the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill was passed on Tuesday.
These bills seek to replace ordinances already promulgated by the government.