The Opposition and the Government are eagerly waiting for a ruling from Chairman of the Rajya Sabha Hamid Ansari on whether Parliament can discuss two identical Bills at the same time.

While the Opposition, citing Article 107 of the Constitution, said the Rajya Sabha should not discuss Bills such as the Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Bill and Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill, as passed by the Lok Sabha, the Government argues that it has the right to withdraw and bring new Bills in the “interest of the people”.

To avoid a confrontation with the Opposition, like the one that happened during the debate on the motion of thanks to the President’s speech, the Government has started reaching out to all Opposition parties, especially for getting the Coal Bill passed.

BJP floor managers have talked to leaders of Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party, Trinamool Congress, Biju Janata Dal and the Congress on the Coal Bill. The ruling party believes that since the process of auctioning is on and money has started flowing into Government coffers, it will not be wise for the Opposition to stall the legislation. “Congress and SP are on board,” claimed a source in the Government.

“We have also talked to all Chief Ministers in the Eastern States,” he said, adding that a “joint session” of both the Houses is the last option before the Government.

The Opposition is also trying to maintain its unity on key Bills. “All of us are working together on the Land Bill, Insurance Bill and the Coal Bill. We have a joint floor strategy in Rajya Sabha,” said CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury.

While the Opposition is hoping that the Rajya Sabha Chairman’s ruling will be in their favour, they feel the Government has created unprecedented situation by bringing two Bills of the same nature.

“It’s an unprecedented situation. Clouds will burst on Monday,” said a senior official in the Rajya Sabha.