BJD Declares Support for Govt on Controversial Citizenship Bill

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Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

Caravan News

NEW DELHI – Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik-led Biju Janata Dal (BJD) has decided to support the government on the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.

“I don’t think any division will be required in the Lok Sabha as the government has the numbers,” said a BJD Lok Sabha MP, adding: “As far as the Rajya Sabha is concerned, we are going to support the government. We had certain inhibitions regarding tribals but that has been taken care of.” BJD has seven MPs in the House.

The bill has been introduced in the Rajya Sabha on Monday as the session is set to end on Friday. Outside the NDA fold, the BJD has emerged as BJP’s most prominent ally.

In June, Patnaik surprised everyone by backing BJP’s Rajya Sabha candidate Ashwini Vaishnav despite his party having the numbers to send a third BJD nominee to the House. BJD had also helped the government in the Rajya Sabha on crucial bills related to triple talaq and Article 370.

Trinamool’ Derek O’Brien said: “BJD is just part of NDA. They are hand in glove with the ruling party.”

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