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Amid recent state polls defeat, UP may bring in cheer for BJP in Rajya Sabha elections

While the BJP will still remain short of the halfway mark in the Rajya Sabha, the ruling NDA may not face hassles in pushing the legislative agenda, as the Opposition rank would get further weakened.

Published: 20th January 2020 07:41 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th January 2020 11:06 AM   |  A+A-

Home Minister Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Home Minister Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (File | EPS)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: With the expansion of the council of ministers in the Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government on the cards the BJP appears to be on course to make fresh gains in Rajya Sabha.

With 69 Rajya Sabha seats heading for elections between April and November, the BJP is on course to compensate for the recent electoral reversals in states.

The saffron outfit may add at least 10 seats to its kitty.

While the BJP will still remain short of the halfway mark in the Rajya Sabha, the ruling NDA may not face hassles in pushing the legislative agenda, as the Opposition rank would get further weakened.

Also, Uttar Pradesh would continue to give the BJP additional might in the Rajya Sabha, with 10 vacancies from the state slated in November.

The BJP, which currently has 83 MPs in Rajya Sabha, may go past 90 by November this year, said a senior party functionary, who added that besides UP, Karnataka, Bihar, Maharashtra would help BJP offset a few losses in other states. 

In the House of 243 members, the BJP along with NDA allies currently commands the support of 105 MPs.

The NDA government has been able to gain the Rajya Sabha nod for contentious legislation by manoeuvring support from “fence-sitters Biju Janata Dal (BJD), YSR Congress and even Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS)”. The YSR would wrest three Rajya Sabha seats in April from the Opposition. 

Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand where the BJP lost power in Assembly elections recently would be reporting a total of nine vacancies in April, with six from the account of the saffron outfit.

The BJP leaders hope to retain two of them on the basis of the strength in the respective Assemblies. 

Maharashtra will open up seven Rajya Sabha seats in April, with two BJP MPs retiring.  The BJP hopes not only to defend the two seats but wrest one from rivals on the back of being the single largest party in the state.

In November, a total of 10 Rajya Sabha seats will fall vacant in UP. With the BJP commanding overwhelming majority in the state Assembly, the saffron outfit appears on course to wrest seven additional berths in Upper House from Samajwadi Party (4), BSP (2) and Congress (1).

The BJP will also wrest one Rajya Sabha seat each from Uttarakhand (Raj Babbar) and Himachal Pradesh (Viplove Thakur) from the Congress. 

The BJP-JD (U) combine in Bihar is likely to retain four out of five RS seats for which elections would be held in April.

The BJP is also set to wrest one more seat from the Congress in Haryana where Kumari Selja is retiring in April.

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