On 5th July when the nation was busy analyzing Budget, BJP won 2 Rajya Sabha seats in Gujarat. These had fell vacant after Amit Shah and Smriti Irani won from Lok Sabha. With this, BJP led NDA has secured a working majority in the Rajya Sabha. After securing nearly 2/3rd victory in the Lok Sabha, the focus of BJP is to gain majority in the Rajya Sabha to enable easy passage of bills.
BJP crossed Congress tally in the upper house for first time ever in mid-2018. It has been dependent on the whims and fancies of the regional parties like BJD, TRS, YSRCP to get important legislations through in Modi 1.O. For legislations like Triple Talaq, Land Bill, Insurance Bill, BJP government has adopted the ordinance route after its failure to get it passed in Rajya Sabha due to lack of numbers. This much needed boost will help BJP fulfil its manifesto promises.
|Party / Group||Number of MPs||Comments|
|BJP+||36||AIADMK (11), BPF (1), JDU (6), RPI-A (1), SHS (3), SAD (3), SDF (1), PMK (1), IND (4), NOMINTED (3), AGP (1), LJP (1)|
|PRO-NDA||15||TRS (6), BJD (7), YSRCP (2)|
|INC+||21||DMK (5), NCP (4), RJD (5), IUML (1), KC(M) (1), IND (2), NOMINATED (1), JDS (1), MDMK (1)|
|ANTI-NDA||44||AAP (3), TMC (13), BSP (4), SP (13), TDP (2), CPM (5), CPI (1), PDP (2), NPF (1)|
|VACANCIES||3||BIHAR (1), ODISHA (1), RAJASTHAN (1)|
Currently, NDA has 114 MPs in the Upper House. This includes 4 independent MPs who have won with NDA backing and 3 MPs nominated during Modi 1.0. Along with Naveen Patnaik’s BJD, which supported a BJP candidate from Odisha despite being in a position to win all the 3 seats, the strength increases to 121. Along with pro NDA parties like TRS and YSRCP, who have supported BJP in the past, and are mainly anti-Congress, NDA enjoys the support of 129 MPs. Currently, 122 is the majority mark in Rajya Sabha as there are 3 vacancies.
UPA has 69 MPs including 2 independents and 1 nominated member. Along with anti-NDA parties like Mamata’s TMC, Kejriwal’s AAP, Mayawati’s BSP, Mulayam’s SP, Left parties, Naidu’s TDP and others, opposition led by UPA has the support of 113 MPs.
3 seats are vacant. The death of Rajasthan BJP Chief and MP Madan Lal Saini has created a vacany in the state. 1 seat is vacant in Odisha. 1 seat of Sharad Yadav (Bihar), disqualified, has been lying vacant since Dec. 2017.
Post Lok Sabha results BJP has consolidated its position in Rajya Sabha
- 4 TDP MPs from Rajya Sabha joined BJP.
- The lone INLD MP too has joined the BJP.
- BJP-AGP combine won both the seats in Assam unopposed.
- In Odisha, BJD won 2 and backed BJP candidate on 1 seat (unopposed). To note, BJD was earlier part of NDA.
- In Bihar, LJP’s Ram Vilas Paswan won on the seat vacated by Ravi Shankar Prasad, as part of the seat sharing arrangement.
- In Gujarat, BJP won both the seats, enabling External Affairs Minister Jaishankar to reach the Parliament.
- In Tamil Nadu, AIADMK combine won 3, while DMK combine won the balance (unopoosed). Both PMK and MDMK bosses Ramadoss and Vaiko made it to the upper house.
BJP will further consolidate its position in Rajya Sabha in 2020
Over the next 5 years till March 2024, 169 MPs are retiring. Elections will be held for 72 seats in 2020, 8 each in 2021 and 2023, 77 in 2022 and 4 in 2024 before Lok Sabha polls.
In 2020, elections to 72 seats are likely to be held. The main states where Rajya Sabha elections will be held are – Andhra (4), Bihar (5), Gujarat (4), Karnataka (4), Tamil Nadu (6), Maharashtra (7), West Bengal (5) and Uttar Pradesh (10). BJP currently holds 15 seats and its allies 11 seats. In between, the elections to Maharashtra, Jharkhand and Haryana are due in 2019.
The biggest gains for BJP are likely to come from UP where BJP swept the 2017 state elections. 10 seats of UP are due for re-elections in 2020. BJP which currently has just 1 MP, is likely to win 9 out of these 10 seats. K.T.S. Tulsi nominated by UPA is also retiring in 2020. This will enable NDA to nominate a man of their choice.
If we assume that the parties’ respective strength in the three states will remain the same (i.e. BJP retaining power), which is not unjustified considering that BJP led NDA has swept these states in Lok Sabha elections held recently, NDA is expected to gain 11 seats in 2020. By the end of 2020, NDA is likely to have the support of 125 MPs (simple majority on its own).
UPA strength is likely to reduce to 64 MPs. NDA will also enjoy a cushion of 24 MPs of regional parties (BJD, TRS, YSRCP) which are likely to provide issue-based support as in the past. Together with pro NDA parties BJP is likely to have support of 149 MPs just 13 short of two-third majority required to pass constitutional amendments.
BJP has a working majority now in Rajya Sabha. By the end of 2020, it is likely to further consolidate its position in the upper house which will help the party to further its development agenda.
Image courtesy: cnn