After Lok Sabha elections massive victory, it’s now mission Rajya Sabha for the Bharatiya Janata Party. The BJP and the National Democratic Alliance led by it are looking to overcome a minority status in the Rajya Sabha which has restricted the previous NDA government’s efforts to push through key laws.
Unlike Lok Sabha MPs who are elected directly by the people, lawmakers in the Upper House are elected by the MLAs of a state. The more the number of MLAs a party has, the brighter its chances to send more MPs to the upper house. A Rajya Sabha MP has a term of six years while his counterpart in the Lok Sabha faces election every five years. But not everyone in the Rajya Sabha is elected at the same time.
The NDA’s majority in the upper house of parliament would help in easy passage of legislations in Parliament, something that has proved to be a major hurdle in recent years. Key bills on issues such as Triple Talaq, the motor vehicles act or amendments to the citizenship act could not be passed as the NDA couldn’t get the requisite numbers.
Last year, the BJP overtook the Congress for the first time in the history of the Upper House; the total number of NDA MPs in the upper house stands at 101 in the 245 seat House. It also enjoys the support of three nominated members, Swapan Dasgupta, Mary Kom and Narendra Jadhav and at least three independent MPs, taking the total tally to 107. KTS Tulsi, a UPA-nominated member, will also retire early next year, giving the NDA a chance to appoint a nominee of its choice.
By November 2020, the NDA government will secure another 19 seats from as many as 14 states including Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, helping it go past the halfway mark of 123 and get 125 seats, making it the first government to reach majority in the upper house in nearly 15 years. Most of its seats will come from Uttar Pradesh where it has 310 MLAs in the 403-member assembly. It will also gain 6 seats in Tamil Nadu thanks to its new ally the AIADMK, three in Assam, two in Rajasthan and perhaps one in Odisha — the last one with the help of a friendly party, the BJD.
It will also gain one seat each in Karnataka, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand while it will lose seats in states such as Rajasthan, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
A big victory in the Maharashtra, Haryana and Jharkhand assembly polls later this year can further bolster the BJP-led NDA’s lead in the Upper House of Parliament by November 2020. If the NDA reaches the majority mark in 2020, it will get nearly four years in the Rajya Sabha to further its legislative agenda.
Between now and November 2020, 75 Rajya Sabha seats will be up for election.