For Cong, allies crucial in RS poll
The results of the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections have not only dealt a blow to Congress hopes in the state, but also made the party more dependent on its allies, such as the Trinamool Congress or outside supporters such as Samajwadi Party (SP), to do business in the Rajya Sabha.
The UPA is already in minority in the Upper House, where elections for 58 seats will take place in March-end. Out of these seats, 10 will go to polls this month from Uttar Pradesh. SP, now set to get six seats, will have a total of nine MPs in the House. Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress will go up to eight from the current strength of six MPs.The BSP — another outside supporter of the ruling coalition — is set to lose at least three seats. However, it will still retain 15 seats.
Overall, the total strength of this group of supporting parties (SP, BSP, Trinamool and RJD) will go up from 33 seats to at least 35 in April. But the strength of Congress in the Upper House may go down by one seat (if the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) retains Uttarakhand).
To add to its woes, if Congress wants to get one candidate each from Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, it will have to depend on its allies as it doesn’t have sufficient MLAs to win its Rajya Sabha candidate.
The UPA had failed to pass or introduce many bills, including the Lokpal, Copyright, and few bills in the education sector, as the allies sided with the Opposition to stifle them.
“After humiliating results in this round of assembly elections, the Congress will need to listen to its supporting parties. It can’t run the government according to its will,” said a senior Trinamool leader.
One seat of Rajya Sabha from Uttarakhand will also go to polls. Currently, it is held by Congress, but if the BJP is able to form the government, it may also win the lone Rajya Sabha seat from the state.
Out of the 11 seats in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, Congress and its new ally RLD have just one seat each. The rest, currently, belong to Mayawati’s BSP (five), SP (two) and BJP (two).
The states from where these 58 seats will go to polls are: Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Odhisa, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat and Sikkim.