BJP's tally set to inch up in Rajya Sabha

Posted February 26, 2018

Similarly, the Congress will also find it impossible to send senior Congress leader Pramod Tiwari, who is also retiring in April, to the Upper House without seeking support from the Samajwadi Party and the BSP.

The BJP leader quoted above argued that while the party has been the single-largest in Rajya Sabha since August a year ago, many important bills, including one to ban instant triple talaq and another to provide constitutional status to the other backward classes commission have not been cleared by the Upper House. In Rajasthan, the BJP could bag all three seats (against now one it holds) and in Maharashtra together with ally Shiv Sena it hopes to corner six seats (against the two they have). "Electorally, the BJP under Prime Minister Narendra Modi has done well in the last four years and this electoral strength would now be visible in Rajya Sabha", the BJP leader added. Pollsters claim the current party-position in UP assembly, where the BJP holds over 2/3rd majority, with allows the saffron party to replace maximum among the incumbent lawmakers.

The Election Commission of India announced the biennial elections for 59 Rajya Sabha seats on Friday.

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Besides the biennial elections to 58 seats, bypoll will be held for one Rajya Sabha seat in Kerala that fell vacant after the resignation of M P Veerendra Kumar in December.

The States from where RS members are retiring are UP (10), Andhra, Odisha, Telangana and Rajasthan (three each), Bihar and Maharashtra (six each), Bengal and Madhya Pradesh (five each), Karnataka and Gujarat (four each), Jharkhand (two), Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Himachal and Uttarakhand (one each). It would be a key test of whether the opposition is able to field a common candidate in some seats against the BJP.

Rajya Sabha members are elected for 5 years but elections are held every two years for almost one-third of the strength of the house. The counting of votes will also take place on the same day.

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Right now, BJP led NDA has a brute majority in the Loksabha but the scenario is different in Rajya Sabha.

Officials said that the notification for the polls would be issued on March 5 and the last date for filing nominations would be March 12.

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