After a smooth sailing in the Lok Sabha, the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill is expected to face a sterner test on Wednesday when it will be taken up for discussion in Rajya Sabha. While the numbers game seem to favour the Modi government, a boost in opposition numbers has made things more interesting in the Upper House. The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill passed in the Lok Sabha with 311-80 votes on Monday night, after more than seven hours of debate and discussions.
Unlike the 2016 scenario – where the bill died a silent death in Rajya Sabha – the ruling government is confident of smooth passage of the Bill in the Upper House this time. Sources in the the BJP-led NDA said they were sure of getting near 124-130 votes in Rajya Sabha which has an effective strength of 240 members. However, opposition ranks have been boosted by the decision of the six-member Telangana Rashtra Samithi to oppose the bill. The stand of former NDA member and current Congress ally Shiv Sena will also be interesting to watch. Sena, after voting for the bill in Lok Sabha, said on Tuesday it may not support the bill now. It has three members in Rajya Sabha.