BJP, allies may get majority in Rajya Sabha next year
New Delhi: After its overwhelming success in the Lok Sabha, the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is expected to get a majority in the Rajya Sabha by the end of next year which will make it easy for the Modi government to push its legislative agenda that has often faced hurdles in the upper house during the past five years for lack of majority.
At present, the NDA has 102 members in the upper house of Parliament, compared to 66 of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) and 66 of the parties not aligned with either of the two alliances.
The BJP-led NDA is expected to add about 18 seats to its tally by November next year. The ruling alliance can also be sure of the backing of some nominated, independent and unattached members.
The half-way mark in the upper house is 123 and the members of upper house are elected by the members of state assemblies.
The BJP will win most of the 10 Rajya Sabha seats that will fall vacant in November next year in Uttar Pradesh. Nine of these seats are held by the opposition parties - six by Samajwadi Party (SP), two by the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and one by Congress.
The BJP has 309 members in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly, followed by 48 of SP, 19 of BSP and seven of Congress.
By next year, BJP will also pick up seats in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Odisha, Himachal Pradesh.
It would lose seats in Rajasthan, Bihar, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh. The outcome of assembly polls in Maharashtra and Haryana will also have a bearing on the NDA's tally.
While biennial elections have already been announced for two seats in Assam, three more seats will fall vacant in the state next year. The BJP and its allies have two-thirds majority in the state assembly.
Nearly one third of the seats of the upper house will fall vacant between June this year and November next year.
Two seats will fall vacant in Assam next month and six in Tamil Nadu in July this year. Thereafter, fifty five seats will fall vacant in April next year, five in June, one in July and 11 in November.
The BJP-led government's efforts to push its legislative agenda often ran into opposition resistance in the last five years in the upper house. The government could not get the triple talaq bill passed despite a hard push, even though it was passed by the lower house. The Citizenship Amendment bill was also not passed.
However, Biju Janata Dal and Telangana Rashtra Samithi - both of which seek to keep equal distance from BJP and Congress - had supported the NDA nominee Harivansh for the post of Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman last year.