Chatterbox: Final Rajya Sabha term for Yechury

Final Rajya Sabha term for Yechury

Nine Rajya Sabha members retire in August. They include Congress’ Ahmed Patel, Trinamool Congress member Derek O’Brien and Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) chief Sitaram Yechury. While Yechury could have returned to the House with the support of Congress legislators in West Bengal, the CPI-M bars its leaders from being a member of the  Upper House for more than two terms. This is Yechury’s second term. O’Brien and Patel are likely to be sent back to the Rajya Sabha by their respective parties.

‘Index of Opposition unity’

The Rajya Sabha term of Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati ends in April 2018. Her party won only 19 seats in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls, which will be insufficient for her to get elected. Even with the support of the Congress, which has seven seats, and the Rashtriya LoK Dal’s lone seat, Mayawati would struggle to return to the Rajya Sabha unless Samajwadi Party (SP) legislators vote for her. Opposition parties are hoping the SP would show large-heartedness for the greater good of unity against the Bharatiya Janata Party in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Opposition parties believe their only chance of defeating Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls is by ensuring the “index of Opposition unity” is at its maximum.

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