The joint committee can move amendments to various clauses, which makes it important for the government to have a majority of the members voting for the amendments moved by the government.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s S S Ahluwalia heads the 30-member committee, with 20 MPs from the Lok Sabha and rest from the Rajya Sabha. The NDA has a near majority with 14 MPs in the committee. These include 11 of the BJP and one each of the Lok Janshakti Party, Telugu Desam Party and Shiv Sena. But the Sena breaking ranks would mean the government needing the support of some of the regional parties when the committee takes up the Bill.
The Congress has five, Trinamool two and nine other parties have a member each in the committee. These parties are the Bahujan Samaj Party, Telangana Rashtra Samiti, Communist Party of India (Marxist) or CPI(M), YSR Congress, NCP, Janata Dal (United), Samajwadi Party, Biju Janata Dal and All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam.
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The present Bill exempts five categories from this provision - defence, rural infrastructure, affordable housing, industrial corridors and infrastructure projects, including PPP projects where the government owns the land. The BJD and the Trinamool Congress have already written to the panel about their amendments.
The strategy of the Congress is to somehow get a majority of members in the panel to oppose the main amendments being brought by the government in the Act. In the meeting, Congress, Trinamool Congress and CPI(M) said that they were for "total withdrawal" of the NDA's land Bill. The Sena is not seeking total withdrawal but has reservations against some of the amendments.