Insurance bill was UPA creation, says Sharad Pawar's NCP

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Majid Memon today said the Insurance Bill was passed by the Rajya Sabha only because the Congress did not oppose it; suggesting that the bill was essentially the creation of the previous Manmohan Singh government.

"As far as the Insurance Bill is concerned, the UPA Government had come out with the bill which is more or less the same. There are hardly any major changes. Therefore, it was the strategy of the Congress not to oppose the present bill ," Memon said.

"Although BJD and TMC expressed its displeasure and walked out, the bill went through because of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress' support," he added – indicating, perhaps, that NCP chief Sharad Pawar hedging his bets as usual. There have been earlier indications that he is moving closer to the BJP.

The Rajya Sabha on Thursday passed the Insurance Amendment Bill, mainly due to Congress support as the ruling government does not have a majority in the upper house.

The Janata Dal (United), Trinamool Congress, Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP) leaders had staged a walkout, refusing to vote on the bill.