Hyderabad: It’s going to be a different ball game in the Rajya Sabha as the BJP gains strength in the aftermath of the state elections announced on Saturday. Currently, the Congress party is the largest single party in the Rajya Sabha with 59 seats, with the BJP second with 56 seats, but by 2018, the BJP will in all probability be the largest single party in the Upper House.
If the Congress loses one seat and that seat is gained either by the BJP or any of its allies, or for that matter, by a neutral party like the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), in terms of counting the strength it will be accounted as double
In 2017 there will be only 10 vacancies in the Rajya Sabha, of which six are from West Bengal.
It can be presumed that only the ruling Trinamul Congress and the CPM will share these seats as per their strengths in the West Bengal Assembly, which means there is going to be no accretion of strength for the BJP or for any opposition party.
There will be three vacancies in Gujarat and one in Goa. Based on the strength BJP may retain its strength of two and Congress 1. In 2018, though, there will be many more vacancies — 68 in all. Ten of these vacancies will be from Uttar Pradesh.
With its 300-plus Assembly seats in the UP house, the BJP will be the bigger gainer. The BSP, Congress and Samajwadi Party are going to lose more, including the retiring BSP chief Mayawati, who cannot win a Rajya Sabha seat from UP due to the drastic decline of the BSP in these current UP assembly elections.
She needs the support of other opposition parties such as the SP and Congress if she is to be sent to the Upper House, but this may be difficult as seven members of the latter parties are also retiring. A minimum of 36 members are required to elect one RS member from UP.
Union minister M Venkaiah Naidu, said: “This year there will be no changes in the strengths of the respective parties, but in 2018, we (the NDA), will be the largest party in the House. We appeal to the Opposition to respect the mandate of the people and be more constructive in the Upper House rather than stalling it.”
The TRS has been neutral as far as the NDA government is concerned and has been supporting it for all legislative business. In 2018, two RS members from the Congress and one from the TDP are retiring from Telangana and the ruling TRS is likely to bag all the three vacancies.
With the Congress having no chance of getting a single RS seat, the losses of the Congress will be an advantage for the BJP, through the TRS....