Odisha ruling party does a volte face; to support Insurance Bill in RS

Odisha Sun Times Bureau

New Delhi, Aug 3:

In a volte face that indicates the keenness of the Naveen Patnaik government in Odisha to curry favour with the Narendra Modi government at the Centre, the ruling BJD on Saturday said it will support the Insurance Bill in the Rajya Sabha on Monday, the same bill it had opposed tooth and nail during the UPA regime.

Bhartruhari Mahatab“We will support the Bill when it comes up for discussion in the Rajya Sabha on Monday,” BJD leader in the Lok Sabha Bhartruhari Mahatab said.

Asked about the reason for the party’s opposition to the Bill during the UPA rule, Mahtab said his party had opposed the bill then since there was no clarity on certain issues in the bill introduced by the UPA government.

“This government has circulated about 97 amendments in the Rajya Sabha and the amendments moved by the government have clarified things,” he said.

The Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill, Modi government’s first major reform initiative to raise the FDI cap in the sector to 49 per cent, has been listed in Monday’s government agenda in the Upper House.

However, uncertainty still looms over the immediate passage of the bill despite BJD’s support, which  has seven members in the Upper House, with nine parties, including the Congress, giving notice for referring the bill to a Select Committee.

No matter what spin the BJD gives its sudden turn around on the issue, there is little doubt that it cannot afford to be on the wrong side of the Modi government because of a series of scams that its government is under the scanner for.

Congress, CPI-M, CPI, SP, BSP, DMK, JD (U), Trinamool Congress and RJD have given a notice to the Chairman of the Upper House Hamid Ansari for referring the controversial bill to a Select Committee.

The AIADMK, which is not an ally of the NDA but supports the government on key issues, has also agreed to back the nine parties in the endeavour though it is not a signatory to the notice.


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