MUMBAI: The ruling BJP is set to increase its tally from Maharashtra in the Rajya Sabha and also in the state Legislative Council, given its improved strength in the 288-member Legislative Assembly post the 2014 polls.
Elections will be held on March 23 for various seats of the Rajya Sabha, including six from Maharashtra, falling vacant on April 2.
At present, the opposition Congress and the NCP hold two seats each, while the Shiv Sena and the BJP have apiece each of these six seats of the Upper House of Parliament.
The BJP, with its tally of 122 in the Assembly, is poised to get three Rajya Sabha seats now, while the Sena, the Congress and the NCP will get one each.
Meanwhile, the biennial elections to 21 Legislative Council seats, out of the total 78, are due later this year.
At present, the BJP has 18 members in the Upper House, while the NCP is the single largest party with 23 members followed by the Congress at 19.
Of the 21 seats set to fall vacant, the NCP presently holds eight, the Congress and the BJP four each, the Shiv Sena -two, while the Peasants and Workers Party (PWP), the Lok Bharati and an Independent member hold one each.
Of these 21 seats, 11 are from the MLAs' quota. Among these 11 members, two belong to the BJP, while four are of the NCP and three of the Congress.
The BJP, with its strength of 122 in the 288-member Assembly, can win five Council seats, while the Congress and the NCP, with 41 seats each in the Lower House, can get one candidate each elected.
However, Congress spokesman Sachin Sawant said his party had two years ago given its one seat to the NCP during the biennial polls to get Council Chairman Ramraje Nimbalkar and Leader of Opposition Dhananjay Munde elected.
The Congress had at that time taken only one seat.
"This time the NCP will take one and we will take two seats, " Sawant said.
The Shiv Sena, with 63 MLAs, can also get two members elected in the Upper House.
Notably, there is also one vacancy in the Assembly following the demise of senior Congress leader and MLA Patangrao Kadam on March 9.
In the Assembly, the PWP and the Bahujan Vikas Agadhi (BVA) have three MLAs each, the AIMIM has two, and the MNS, the Samajwadi Party, the Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh, the CPM and the
Rashtriya Samaj Paksh (RSP) have one each, while there are seven Independents.
The BVA, the RSP, Independents and the lone MNS legislator are supporting the BJP-led government.
The prominent Legislative Council members retiring on July 27 include deputy chairman Manikrao Thakre, Congress group leader Sharad Ranpise and party MLC Sanjay Dutt, Sunil Tatkare,
Narendra Patil, Jaydev Gaikwad and Amarsinh Pandit (all four the NCP), Anil Parab (the Shiv Sena), Jayant Patil (the PWP), and Vijay Girkar and animal husbandary minister Mahadeo Jankar (the BJP).
Besides the 11 seats from MLAs' quota in the Council, the l0 others (among total 21) falling vacant include six local self-government bodies' constituencies, two graduates' constituencies and two teachers' segments.
Of these 10, four are currently held by the NCP, one by the Congress, two by the BJP, and one each by the Shiv Sena, the Lok Bharati. There is also a BJP-supported Independent member.