Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) became the single largest party in Rajya Sabha on Thursday (3 August) after Samapatiya Uikey took oath as a new member of the house. The seat from Madhya Pradesh got vacant after death of former Union Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave.
BJP currently has 58 members in the upper house compared to Congress’ 56. However, recent addition of JDU to the NDA fold adds 10 more seats to the alliance which takes its totally tally to 86. Apart from these, the BJP can count on three additional votes from nominated members the President has appointed on its suggestions. If the BJP manages to wrestle Sonia Gandhi’s top-aide Ahmed Patel’s seat in Gujarat in the 8 August poll, which is likely, then it will have 90 seats in Rajya Sabha.
All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), Biju Janata Dal (BJD), Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), YSR Congress Party have 13, 8, 3 and 1 seats respectively. These parties are not averse to voting in favour of NDA’s bills and have supported the alliance on many occasions including in the recently concluded Presidential polls. However, as BJP’s electoral ambitions expand in Odisha and Telangana, support from parties like BJD and TRS would be difficult to garner. Even if we include these members into NDA’s tally, it comes to 115 and stops short of the halfway figure of 122 by seven seats. However, with elections to 10 seats in Uttar Pradesh and four nominations by President coming up, it will be in very comfortable situation by end of next year.
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