For the first time, BJP is largest party in Rajya Sabha; Cong pushed to second spot
It is also the first time that the Congress – the grand old party of India – has been pushed to the second spot in the Upper House, reflecting the downswing in its fortunes across the country.Updated: Aug 04, 2017, 11:48 IST
For the first time ever, the ruling BJP has become the largest party in the Rajya Sabha and is set to add a few more to its tally next year, potentially giving the ruling NDA a chance to push through key legislations in the Upper House.
It is also the first time that the Congress – the grand old party of India – has been pushed to the second spot in the Upper House, reflecting the downswing in its fortunes across the country.
Madhya Pradesh tribal leader Sampathiya Uikey took oath as a Rajya Sabha member on Thursday, taking the number of BJP lawmakers to 58, one more than the Congress.
The BJP already has a brute majority in the Lok Sabha after the party’s stunning success in the 2014 Lok Sabha seat. The BJP also is in power in 18 states, either on its own or in alliance with other parties
The Congress’ power base is now reduced to just six out of 29 states.
Even during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government’s tenure, the BJP was mostly below 50 seats in the Upper House.
Though the BJP-led NDA is still far short of the majority mark in the 245-member Rajya Sabha, it is likely to change from mid-2018 when it might hope to outnumber the opposition grouping with help from friendly parties.
In April next year, 57 Rajya Sabha seats will fall vacant.
Of the 10 seats falling vacant from Uttar Pradesh, the BJP is expected to get as many as nine, a gain of eight seats for the ruling party.
It will also reap rich harvest in other states, such as Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar and Haryana, where the party is in power
While the Modi government may not get a majority in the Rajya Sabha during its current tenure, it is likely to have enough numbers to overcome the opposition with support from like-minded parties including Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal (United), who revived an old alliance with the BJP this month.