BJP Overtakes Congress as Largest Political Party in Rajya Sabha
The BJP now has 58 members against 57 of the main Opposition party.
The Quint DAILY
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For the first time since Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power, the BJP has surpassed the Congress in numbers, to become the largest political party in the Rajya Sabha (RS). With the election of BJP lawmaker Sampatiya Uikey from Madhya Pradesh to the RS, the BJP now has a total of 58 members, as opposed to the Congress’s 57.
Union Minister Arun Jaitley was quoted in an NDTV report as saying that the BJP’s win is a “natural consequence of our support base increasing.” Further, Jaitley was quoted as saying:
We are in power in most states and since the Rajya Sabha is a council of the states, the strength of the BJP has to be reflected
With Uikey being elected, the Congress’s 65-year rule as the Rajya Sabha’s biggest party has come to an end. The BJP-led NDA, however, is still short of a decisive majority in the House but the joining of Janata Dal (United) to the ruling bloc has further bolstered its numbers.
Madhya Pradesh has a total of 11 seats in the RS, of which, the BJP holds 8. Uikey was nominated to the Upper House after the death of Union Minister Anil Dave, and will serve the rest of Dave’s term till June 2022, as per an India Today report.
On 8 August, elections will be conducted for nine seats – six in West Bengal and three in Gujarat, as per an NDTV report. Smriti Irani and BJP President Amit Shah are all set to win from Gujarat in the 8 August elections. The party’s third candidate from Gujarat, Balwantsinh Rajput, who has been pitted against Congress’s Ahmed Patel, is also likely to win. Rajput had quit the Congress as its chief whip, to join the BJP.
Recently, the Congress saw six of its legislators quitting the party. Further, the Congress’s numbers have been depleted by the death of two of its lawmakers this year
In yet another boost, the BJP will gain a seat with Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati quitting her RS membership in July. The BJP is also likely to win 12 seats by April, during the elections for 57 vacant RS seats, as per an NDTV report. Of the 12 seats, 10 are from Uttar Pradesh. The party is hopeful of winning at least eight of the 10 seats.
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