Thursday, 15 November, 2018

BJP is now largest Rajya Sabha party

Jaya Bachchan in Rajya sabha Jaya Bachchan in Rajya sabha
Patty Aguilar | 24 March, 2018, 16:00

The Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday secured victory on all nine Rajya Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh.

Uttar Pradesh: Besides Arun Jaitley, the others in the fray are Ashok Bajpai, Vijay Pal Singh Tomar, Sakal Deep Rajbhar, Kanta Kardam, Anil Jain, Harnath Singh Yadav, GVL Narasimha Rao and Anil Kumar Agarwal.

In Chhattisgarh, BJP and Congress both have fielded their candidates for a single Rajya Sabha seat. The Congress candidate got only 10 votes as independent member D. Prakash Reddy's vote was declared invalid by the Election Commission.

JD (U)'s Vashishta Narayan Singh and Mahendra Prasad, BJP's Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, RJD's Manoj Jha and Ashfaq Karim and Congress's Akhilesh Prasad Singh are set to get elected with any contest.

Back of the envelope calculations reveal that the BJP's strength in the Rajya Sabha is likely to grow by 12 seats to 70 members of Parliament (MPs). These are Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Karnataka, Jharkhand, Chattisgarh, and Telangana.

There is a direct contest with the ruling Congress and BJP on the 4 seats of the South Indian state.

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Party MLA from Purwa, Anil Kumar Singh, announced his support for the BJP candidate. Though a majority will still elude the NDA, senior leaders of the BJP believe that greater representation would improve their chances in the Rajya Sabha.

West Bengal chief-minister Mamata Banerjee kept things in check in her state by winning four out of the five seats and helping Congress' Abhishek Singhvi win the fifth seat with her party's support. Naresh Agarwal, who recently quit the SP and joined the BJP, has said his son would vote for the saffron party in the Rajya Sabha polls. Congress leader Aradhana Misra said, "Congress party has given its support to BSP candidate Bhim Rao Ambedkar". BJP and the Congress shared a seat each out of the 2 seats in Jharkhand.

The Rajya Sabha elections are significant because the Upper House has been a constant cause of concern for the NDA since it came to power.

The Allahabad high court order restraining BSP MLA Mukhtar Ansari, lodged in Banda jail, from voting in the Rajya Sabha poll might also have upset the BSP plans. Elections on the remaining 58 seats were held because those holding them will retire in April.

The fight was for the third seat between the third candidate of the Congress' Chandrasekhar and JDS' B M Farooq, with the ruling party pulling off a bonus victory. This will spell trouble for Jaya Bachchan if cross-voting takes place and of the 37 SP MLAs left, some vote for BJP.

The Apna Dal (Sonelal), with nine MLAs, has also chose to vote for the BJP nominees.

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