Faced with the prospect of yet another embarrassment in Rajya Sabha, Government tonight bowed to the opposition demand for sending the Mines and Minerals bill to a Select Committee after hours of battle of wits between rival sides.
In the House, where BJP and its allies are woefully short of numbers, the government tried to stonewall the opposition demand for sending the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2015 to a Select Committee and kept pressing for its passage.
However, the opposition then moved amendments, creating the possibility of putting the government in an embarrassing situation as the ruling coalition is in a minority and the amendments would have got adopted.
The government then agreed to refer the bill to a Select Committee, warding off an embarrassment after having faced such a situation in the House only last week when an opposition amendment to the Motion of Thanks to the President’s Address was adopted.
A marathon debate was seen in the House, with leaders from both sides including lawyers like Jaitley, Anand Sharma and Ashwini Kumar citing rules and conventions of Parliament to hammer home their point.
Deputy Chairman P J Kurien, who faced a ticklish task as both sides stuck to their arguments and the House virtually became a court room, finally settled the matter.