National Chronicle
National National Chronicle Special

Even with Akali Dal out, Rajya Sabha will see BJP dominance

BJP
By Anindya Banerjee

New Delhi: While the polity is fixated on the Bihar Assembly elections and the Congress-ruled states have taken it upon themselves to attempt undoing the Centre’s agri bills, the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is slowly inching towards its goal of getting a majority — an achievable 123 seats — in the Rajya Sabha, where many crucial Bills faced stiff resistance from the opposition, unlike in Lok Sabha.

With a win in the by-election to a seat from Uttar Pradesh last month and polling for more seats from the state scheduled to take place in November, the NDA will bolster its arithmetic towards that goal while making the BJP itself more powerful than ever before.

As of today, the saffron party has 86 members in the Rajya Sabha. After the Rajya Sabha election to 10 seats from Uttar Pradesh and one from Uttarakhand next month, the BJP’s tally is set to climb to at least 94 or even 95.

The BJP has 305 members in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly, and is sure to get eight of its candidates elected, on its own strength.

The Om Prakash Rajbhar-led Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP) had fought alongside the saffron party in the 2017 state polls, and had bagged four seats back then. But, it later parted ways with the BJP. However, the BJP still has another existing ally – Apna Dal (Sonelal) – which won 9 seats. These 9 seats may help BJP aim for the ninth seat as well.

Meanwhile, the BJP is poised to snatch the single Rajya Sabha seat from Uttarkhand too.

While, the BJP will certainly get mightier in the Rajya Sabha, it has recently lost an ally in form of the Shiromani Akali Dal which has three Rajya Sabha members.

With existing constituents like the LJP, the RPI, the NPP, among others, the NDA numbers stand at 110. If all goes well, the BJP is certain of taking the NDA number to 119 or even 120.

While the NDA may fall just short of a majority, but the BJP’s stronger avatar with stronger numbers on its own in the Rajya Sabha, accompanied by many ‘friendly’ parties like the Biju Janata Dal and the Telangana Rashtra Samithi, that have helped it to pass legislations, the BJP’s job in the opposition-dominated upper house is all set to become much more easier.

The BJP won 11 of the 24 seats in the recent Rajya Sabha polls in 10 states, in which the likes of Jyotiraditya Scindia won.

While the BJP has been dominating the Lok Sabha, it was outnumbered in Rajya Sabha during the first tenure of Narendra Modi. With BJP’s state wins started to get reflected in Parliament, as and when Rajya Sabha elections kept happening, the BJP’s stature in the Rajya Sabha swung from an underdog to a power to reckon with.

In spite of stiff opposition, the BJP managed to get controversial legislations like the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 or the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 in the Rajya Sabha passed in the Monsoon session of Parlaiment.

That was well before its near-certain increase in power next month and amid allies walking out on it.

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