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Assembly poll results may not boost Modi govt in Rajya Sabha

If we assume that the exit polls are on target, then this round of assembly elections will not bring smiles to the NDA camp in the Rajya Sabha.

assembly elections Updated: May 18, 2016 18:04 IST
HT Correspondent
A view of the Rajya Sabha
A view of the Rajya Sabha(PTI Photo)

The government’s Rajya Sabha fortunes are unlikely to look up even if the saffron party performs according to predictions by exit polls for assembly elections to four states.

The exit polls predict a landmark BJP victory in Assam and say the party will open its tally in Kerala and West Bengal.

But the results are unlikely to add to the NDA numbers in the Rajya Sabha for the remainder of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s tenure as Assam doesn’t send any MP to the Upper House before the 2019 general elections.

The NDA is in a minority in the upper House and its reform agenda has been paralysed over the last three Parliament sessions by a belligerent Opposition.

The NDA enjoys the support of 72 MPs, including nominated and independents, in the 245-member Rajya Sabha. The Congress is the single-largest party in the upper House.

As the BJP is not expected to mop up a large number of MLAs anywhere except Assam, its fortunes in the Rajya Sabha is likely to remain unchanged.

Twenty Rajya Sabha seats will fall vacant between now and 2019 -- when the current government’s term ends -- from the five states where polls were held.

Six seats are up for grabs in Tamil Nadu next month. Of the two Dravidian parties, the AIADMK has consistently supported the NDA in Parliament except on the GST bill.

But Jayalalithaa’s party might not be in a position to send its nominees to the Rajya Sabha as most exit polls predict the DMK-Congress alliance to squeeze through.

Six seats will be vacant next year in West Bengal, where the Trinamool Congress is expected to score a big victory. Another five West Bengal seats will go to polls in 2018 along with three seats from Kerala, where the Left parties are poised to win. The NDA has a marginal footprint in these two states.

Rajya Sabha seats which will be vacant by 2019 from states that went to polls recently:

Year, monthStateNo. of seatsCurrent seat positions
June, 2016Tamil Nadu62 DMK, 1 Cong, 3 ADMK
July, 2017West Bengal61 CPI(M), 5 Trinamool
April, 2018West Bengal51 CPI(M), 4 Trinamool
July, 2018Kerala31 CPI(M), 1 Cong, 1 KC(M)