Already a minority in the Rajya Sabha, the Congress’s tally will further slip in the Upper House this year, making the task of pushing any contentious legislation difficult.
Tenure of 65 Rajya Sabha MPs is ending this year between April and August. Of these, 24 (including Shivraj Patil who is now a governor) belong to the Congress. But the ruling party is in a position to win only 17 seats on the basis of its legislative strength in the states.
This means that the Congress tally, which stands at 72, will come down to 65.
The party is expected to decide after a couple of weeks who it will renominate and from where. This could require some reshuffling. For instance, the Congress will draw a blank in BJP-ruled Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand from where it had got Anand Sharma and Capt Satish Sharma elected. In Bihar, R.K Dhawan was elected with the RJD’s support.
Representing 14 states, the 24 MPs also include seven who complete their tenure in April. The remaining will complete their term in June and July.
The Congress members whose tenures are ending are from Andhra Pradesh (5), Punjab (4), Assam, Karnataka, Maharashtra (2 each), Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu, Orissa, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Bihar and Jharkhand (1 each).
The party hopes to win three seats from Andhra Pradesh and Punjab, two from Rajasthan and Maharashtra and one from Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.