Rajya Sabha may not be a stumbling block for Modi govt come 2020

A view of Parliament House, in New Delhi. Photo: PTI
The Election Commission has announced by-polls to six Rajya Sabha seats on July 5, including the one vacated by BJP chief Amit Shah following his election to the Lok Sabha. Votes will be counted on July 5.

The Congress had demanded that the by-polls to the two vacant seats in Gujarat be held together as it felt that it could win one of the two Rajya Sabha seats vacated by Shah and Union minister Smriti Irani.

The Congress felt that in case of separate elections, the BJP would have an advantage as it is the ruling party and it can win both the seats.

The Gujarat seats fell vacant after Shah won the Lok Sabha election from Gandhinagar and Irani from Amethi.

The other seats for which by-polls have been announced are one vacated by Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad (Bihar) and Achuytananda Samanta (Odisha) following their election to the Lok Sabha.

By-polls will also be held on two more seats from Odisha. While one was vacated by Pratap Kesari Deb, who got elected to the assembly, and Soumya Ranjan Patnaik who resigned.
These by-polls are separate from the retirements and election to seats in the Rajya Sabha in 2019 on schedule, as seen in the chart.

Overall, the implications of these elections will favour the BJP in the Upper House where it is short of a numerical majority but has an operational majority.

This situation is expected to change in 2020 when as many as 72 seats will fall vacant. The National Democratic Alliance is expected to get a full majority in 2020. 

Source: PRS, Chakshu Roy

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