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2021 too long to wait: BJP eager moves for majority in Rajya Sabha

By IndianMandarins- 21 Jun 2019


The BJP seems to be in a hurry to hit the majority mark in the Rajya Sabha, or the Upper House of Parliament. This is so because several bills either get stuck in the House, or the ruling party has to stop short of moving them in the House foreseeing the spectre of falling short of majority.


Attaining majority in the Rajya Sabha is now the prime concern of the NDA government as some of the contentious bills like abolishing triple talaq, amending the Citizenship Act and even the issues like 35A will be easier to deal with for the NDA once the House of elders swings its way.


The BJP-led NDA has 99 RS members but with four TDP MPs in the RS breaking away from the parent party and merging with the BJP the NDA tally has reached 103 with BJP alone having 75 members. This is minus Amit Shah, Smriti Irani and Ravi Shankar Prasad who resigned their respective RS seats after getting elected to the Lok Sabha (LS).


As per the present scenario, the NDA is likely to get a majority in the Upper House of Parliament by the end of 2021 or sometimes in 2022, making it easier for the ruling coalition to carry out its plans.


But with developments like a faction of TDP MPs merging with the BJP, the message is clear that the alliance is not ready to wait till 2021. The NDA is just 21 short of the majority mark of 123 in the House. The NDA gets issue-based support right now from parties like TRS (6), YSRCP (2) and BJD (9). This is the reason that NDA is planning to give Deputy Speaker’s seat to the BJD as a tactical move. There are six Independents in the House.


Now, there are two vacancies in Assam as tenure of former PM Manmohan Singh and Santiuse Kujur came to an end this month on June 14. With the BJP in power in Assam these seats will obviously go to the party.


Fifty-five seats are to fall vacant in April 2020 in UP, Maharashtra, Assam, Jharkhand, Haryana, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh. Some of these will go to the NDA. The real gain for the BJP will be from UP when nine non-BJP seats will fall vacant. Of these, only one can go to SP while the remaining will fall in BJP’s kitty. In April 2022, another 10 Rajya Sabha seats in UP will fall vacant and the BJP will be clearly cross the halfway mark in the Rajya Sabha.   

(By Vinod Kumar Shukla & Rakesh Ranjan) 

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