The NDA government succeeded in passing the TRAI amendment bill in Lok Sabha, however, it may face challenges in the upper house where opposition parties are at large.
The NDA government's proposal to amend the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Bill 1997 to help appoint Nripendra Misra as Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Principal Secretary created a controversy between the political parties.
However, the lower house passed the bill on Monday despite opposition from the Congress, CPI (M), RJD, RSP and AAP, as NDA rules the lower house with 336 seats out of 543.
The real challenge for the Bill is in the Rajya Sabha, where NDA has been reduced to minority with just 56 seats out of 243, while the opposition—UPA has 80 seats out of which Congress enjoys 68 seats alone.
With backing from parties such as Trinamool Congress, All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and Nationalist Congress Party, together comprising of 29 seats in RS, the result may fall in favour of NDA.
Those in favour of the Bill appreciated the step taken by the Modi-government to ease rules for TRAI members, and said that the PM can righteously chose whom he wants to.
"I don't think there is any problem in it. Prime Minister should have the option to have people of his choice in his office. And it would only bring TRAI in line with other regulatory agencies," Business Standard quoted BJD MP Baijayant Panda.
The amendment in the bill will replace the existing ordinance, which prohibits TRAI chairman and members from taking up any government job after retirement. However, he will be eligible to work with any private organisations or companies even after two years of demitting office.
Whereas the parties opposing the Bill feels that the amendment is against the "parliamentary practices and ethics."
"We are not opposing the appointment of a particular person and we believe that the PM has the right to choose his officials. But it is the question of parliamentary practices and ethics. The intent of the government and the way it has been done are questionable," Mint Live quoted Revolutionary Socialist Party N K Premachandran.
Rajya Sabha on Tuesday passed the TRAI Bill clearing every hurdle in the way of making Misra Modi's Principal Secretary. With the support of BSP and TMC, NDA government was successful in getting through the Rajya Sabha, where they have least number of seats.