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How Amma's MPs agreed to support JAC in Rajya Sabha

By A correspondent
August 14, 2014 16:26 IST
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On Wednesday the AIADMK abstained during the voting on JAC in the Lok Sabha. On Thursday, however, the party MPs voted in favour of the bill in the Rajya Sabha. How did this change of heart of come about?

It took Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and All India Dravida Munetra Kazhagam chief J Jayalalithaa’s early-hour phone call to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ease the tension about the unanimous resolution on the Judicial Appointments Commission Bill in the Rajya Sabha, according to our source.

The AIADMK’s abstaining during voting on the judicial commission in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday was being seen as a major embarrassment to the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Though the Congress had backed the BJP on the Bill, the BJP's political leadership wanted to get the Bill passed unanimously in the Rajya Sabha -- but they were wary of the AIADMK. 

But the scenario was different in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday.

Visibly joyful BJP leaders were sharing these details in the Central Hall of Parliament on Thursday, hailing the efforts of Union Ministers Arun Jaitley, Ravi Shankar Prasad, and Venkaiah Naidu in convincing the Tamil Nadu chief minister.

A flurry of phone calls from the Prime Minister’s Office to the Tamil Nadu chief minister’s office on Thursday had ended with smiles. Naidu spoke to Jayalalithaa in Telugu, while Prasad called her on Wednesday morning (in Hindi), and sought the AIADMK’s support. Jaitley also spoke briefly to her.

Everyone was thanking leader of the AIADMK in Rajya Sabha V Maitreyan for his email to Jayalalitha to bring about this settlement.

Maitreyan’s email to his party leader explained the background of the mini-fiasco. He also wrote about how the AIADMK’s concerns on federalism were accommodated in the JAC, which Modi had also clarified on Wednesday.

It was only after this that Jayalalithaa was convinced and gave the green signal to 11 AIADMK members of Parliament to vote for the JAC.

A scene inside the Rajya Sabha on Thursday: Modi calling Maitreyan over and asking him whether he had received instructions on the JAC from amma. This was visible from the press gallery, and some media-persons also heard this conversation on the sound system. 

Prasad then walked over to Naidu’s desk to express his joy over the decision.

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A correspondent in New Delhi
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