If the trend of BJP increasing its tally continues, the NDA can hope to touch the majority mark by November when 10 seats from Uttar Pradesh and one from Uttarakhand fall vacant
As many as 45 of the 61 newly-elected Rajya Sabha MPs took oath on Wednesday. The rest will take oath when the monsoon session starts, possibly in the last week of August.
The Rajya Sabha’s total strength is 245. With only three vacancies, the Rajya Sabha is now nearly at its full strength.
If the trend of BJP increasing its tally continues, the NDA can hope to touch the majority mark by November when 10 seats from Uttar Pradesh and one from Uttarakhand fall vacant.
Given the BJP’s majority in the two assemblies, it is set to win the Uttarakhand seat and most of the UP seats.
The BJP now has 85 MPs in the Rajya Sabha. If one includes all NDA constituents – the AIADMK, Janata Dal (United), Shiromani Akali Dal, other smaller parties, including some from northeastern states – the tally stands at 112.
It is 10-seats short of the majority mark of 122. There are currently three vacancies in House, one each from Kerala, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
Apart from NDA numbers, the BJP can, and has in the recent past, relied on the support of such regional parties as the Biju Janata Dal (9 MPs), Telangana Rashtra Smithi (7 MPs) and YSR Congress Party (6 MPs). Together, these three comprise a block of 22 MPs.
In addition, it can rely on the support of two of three three ‘independent’ MPs, Amar Singh and Subhash Chandra.
Of the 12 nominated MPs, eight have already opted to join the BJP. Of the rest four nominated MPs unaffiliated to any party, the BJP can hope for support of all of them – Narendra Jadhav, Swapan Dasgupta, MC Mary Kom and Ranjan Gogoi.
In November, 10 seats from Uttar Pradesh and one from Uttarakhand will fall vacant. Of these, the Uttarakhand seat is currently held by Congress’s Raj Babbar, and is set to go to the BJP.
Of the 10 UP seats, four are currently with the Samajwadi Party, two with the Bahujan Samaj Party, one with the Congress and three with the BJP.
The BJP, given its huge majority in the UP Assembly, will add five seats to its tally.
Therefore, by the winter session of 2020, the BJP-led NDA can hope for support of 150 MPs.
The significance of the number is that the BJP-led NDA is gradually inching closer to a tally where it can hope to push through contentious constitution amendment bills, and even call for joint sessions of Parliament for passage of bills.
It couldn’t do this during the first term of the Narendra Modi government despite a near two-thirds majority in the Lok Sabha since it was always short of numbers in the Rajya Sabha.
In a House of 245 members, two-thirds mark is 164.