National

BJP leads Rajya Sabha as well; more than twice the number of Congress seats

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on June 21, 2020 Published on June 21, 2020

File Photo of Parliament building.   -  Bloomberg

Congress down to 41 seats in the recent round of biennial elections of the Rajya Sabha

The Bharatiya Janata Party fared well in the recent round of biennial elections of the Rajya Sabha. It now has 86 seats, while its biggest opponent Congress is down to 41 seats.

The gap is now more than twice the number of seats, NDTV reported.

The National Democratic Alliance(NDA) now has nearly 100 members in the 245-member House. Its allies including the AIADMK (9 seats), BJD (9 seats), YSR Congress Party (6 seats), and other several allied nominated members and smaller parties make the voice of the party even stronger in the upper house.

The Election Commission had announced biennial polls to 61 seats, including 55 in March, but the process was delayed due to the novel coronavirus.

Rajya Sabha went to polls on Friday, where the BJP won eight seats, Congress and the YSR Congress won four each and others won three of the 19 seats.

The BJP managed to win more seats than the rest due to the defection from several Congress legislators in Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat.

In total, the BJP won 17, Congress nine, Nitish Kumar's JDU got three, BJD and the TMC four each, AIADMK and DMK three each, NCP, RJD and the TRS two each, and others got the remaining seats, official sources told news agency Press Trust of India.

Opposition

The Opposition, whose key pillars include the Congress, Trinamool Congress, and the Left, is losing hold over both the houses as BJP marked its biggest ever victory in the last election winning 303 seats in Lok Sabha election.

It prompted a host of defections from the Opposition, including Rajya Sabha members of the Congress, TDP, and the Samajwadi Party, to the BJP, and many non-NDA regional parties chose to back the government in Parliament on crucial issues.

The Congress has accused the BJP of "horse-trading", alleging that the party had manufacture defections from its ranks for political gains.

The government managed big support in Parliament to its resolution to nullify Article 370 and key bills like the bifurcation of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir into the Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh. It also got support on the bill against Triple Talaq (instant divorce).

The controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill was also passed in both the Houses of Parliament.

Out of the 61 new members, 43 are first-timers, which include BJP's Jyotiraditya Scindia and Congress's Mallikarjun Kharge. Both have been members of Lok Sabha but lost from their constituencies in the 2019 general elections.

Former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda and former Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker M Thambi Durai have also been elected to the Rajya Sabha.

Modi government legislative agenda was often impeded in the upper house of the Parliament due to the Congress’ significant presence. Congress had more numbers than the BJP in the first few years of the Modi government.

However, the BJP's landslide victory in the assembly elections, coupled with the shrinking of the Congress, resulted in the significant rise of the party’s hold in the Rajya Sabha.

Published on June 21, 2020
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