NEW DELHI: The biennial elections for 55 Rajya Sabha seats may not change the scale much in favour of the BJP, with the party set for gains only later this year when 11 berths will become vacant from Uttar Pradesh.
The BJP may make some gains in Maharashtra, while Trinamool Congress will retain the strength from West Bengal. The BJP-led NDA may get a boost with the AIADMK set for gains from Tamil Nadu, while the YSR Congress would wrest vacancies from Andhra Pradesh.
In Madhya Pradesh, the BJP will be able to win one seat from the existing strength, while the saffron outfit would strongly contest for another seat from the state.
In Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, the BJP will pocket one seat each.
The BJP may suffer minor losses from Jharkhand, Bihar and Rajasthan.
The BJP vice president Prabhat Jha and senior party leader Satyanarayan Jatia are retiring from Madhya Pradesh. Both are completing two terms, with the BJP rarely giving third terms to party leaders.
However, there had been a few exceptions to the unwritten rules in which the BJP gave additional terms in the Rajya Sabha to senior leaders, which included the likes of Arun Jaitely and Ravi Shankar Prasad.
Meanwhile, Himachal Congress president Kuldeep Rathore said the name of the candidate for the poll will be finalised soon.
Similarly, state BJP chief spokesperson Randhir Sharma said, “The process of finalising the name of the BJP candidate is on.” Voting will be held from 9 am to 4 pm on March 26.
While NDA is likely to retain its strength in Gujarat, Bihar and states in the northeast— Meghalaya and Manipur, the Congress, which won elections in three states in December 2018, is likely to improve its tally from Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
The elections assume importance as they could give an edge to the ruling BJP-led NDA, which continues to be in minority in the Rajya Sabha.