Despite the BJP's resounding victories in the Assembly elections in December and recent political shift in Bihar, the composition of the Rajya Sabha, where the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) still lacks a majority, is unlikely to see significant changes after the upcoming biennial elections for the Upper House of the Parliament.
The Election Commission announced on Monday (29 January) that elections for 56 Rajya Sabha seats across 15 states, due for vacancy in April, will be held on 27 February, Indian Express reported.
Fifty members are set to retire on 2 April, with another six the following day. Currently, the Upper House has 238 members, with 109 from NDA-affiliated parties and 89 from the INDI Alliance.
Of the 56 MPs who are retiring, 28 are from the BJP and 10 are from the Congress.
The BJP is expected to retain a similar number of seats, while the Congress is likely to win nine seats and possibly gain an additional one with support from allies in Bihar.
The Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) is set to be the biggest loser, with three retiring MPs and the Congress poised to take two of their seats following recent elections in Telangana.
Uttar Pradesh has the most vacancies with 10 seats, followed by Maharashtra and Bihar. In Uttar Pradesh, the BJP, despite having nine members retiring, is expected to win seven seats, while the Samajwadi Party is likely to secure the remaining three. The BJP is also anticipated to gain a seat in Bihar.
The electoral battle in Maharashtra is set to be interesting due to the recent split in the NCP and Shiv Sena. The ruling coalition is likely to claim five of the six seats, with the Congress eyeing the sixth.
In Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Chhattisgarh, the outcome is expected to mirror the recent Assembly election results, with the BJP maintaining its position.
Similarly, in Gujarat, the BJP is set to gain all four seats, two of which are currently held by the Congress. In Odisha, the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) is expected to secure all three seats.
The Congress is likely to lose seats in Karnataka, where the outcome is expected to remain unchanged, and in Andhra Pradesh, where the YSRCP is poised to win all three seats.
In West Bengal, amid ongoing tensions between INDI Alliance allies Trinamool Congress (TMC) and Congress, the TMC is likely to retain four seats, with the BJP possibly gaining the fifth.
Kuldeep is Senior Editor (Newsroom) at Swarajya. He tweets at @kaydnegi.
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