Mamata’s U-turn on TRAI Bill takes political corridor by surprise

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This 180-degree turn on the issue has set the tongues wagging in the political corridors.
Despite opposition from a clutch of parties, the Lok Sabha passed a controversial Bill, TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) Amendment Bill of Narendra Modi-led BJP government on Monday legalising the appointment of retired telecom regulator Nripendra Misra as principal secretary to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Congress, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) were amongst those who opposed the Bill. Surprisingly, Trinamool Congress, and Congress's partner NCP were amongst those who took a U-turn from their stand and backed the Bill.
Mamata Banerjee's TMC, which had earlier said that they will move a statutory resolution to oppose the Bill in the Lower House, did a volte face to support the Bill.

Earlier, TMC's Saugata Roy had said that the Bill was being brought "merely to give a government job to a superannuated TRAI Chairman, thereby taking away the independence of TRAI."

TMC’s sudden U-turn has set the tongues wagging

Contradicting Roy's statement, TMC leader Sudip Bandopadhyay on Monday said, "The Prime Minister had the right to appoint any officer who he feels fit in the greater interests of better governance."

This 180-degree turn on the issue has set the tongues wagging in the political corridors, with several questions doing the rounds and most important one being, why did Mamata didi's TMC which was hell bent on opposing the bill tooth and nail, suddenly took a 180 degree turn on the issue?

Why the U-turn?

This turnabout of TMC has raised questions in the political circles and has also attracted allegations of quid pro quo. Did this U-turn come because Trinamool leadership was apprehensive of CBI's investigation into Saradha scam reaching its doorstep?

Meanwhile, the opposition Congress, which was sidelined and isolated in opposing the Bill, has also questioned TMC's sudden U-turn.

"I don't know what compulsions they had to take such a stand," said Mallikarjun Kharge, leader of Congress in Lok Sabha.

It is very well known that the TMC has never missed an opportunity to criticise the Narendra Modi the ever since it came to power. This sudden development of soft corner for the BJP has certainly brought TMC's role in supporting the Centre under suspicion.

It seems Didi, whose party is under scanner for the alleged involvement in multi crore Saradha chit fund scam, wants to appease the BJP for garnering favours from the Centre and wants to bag a special package for her state.

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