Rajya Sabha | National

BJP hits a century in Rajya Sabha, first party to do so after 1988

The Rajya Sabha in session on March 22, 2022. Photo: Sansad TV via PTI

The results of the set of 13 Rajya Sabha seats that went to the polls on March 31 has set a record of sorts for the Upper House, with the BJP crossing the double digit mark, and having 101 seats currently in the House, a first after the period of 1988-90 when the Congress had held that distinction.

Before the polling, the BJP was on 97 seats, but one seat each in Himachal Pradesh, Tripura, Nagaland and Assam has put the party into the 100 seats club. The tally of the National Democratic Alliance led by the BJP now stands at 117 members in the 245-member House, including the "extra seat" from Assam, a contest that saw cross-voting and resulted in the BJP and its ally, the United People's Party Liberal (UPPL), grabbing the seat late on Thursday evening. Currently, the Lok Sabha has 236 members and nine vacancies.

72 members retire

On Thursday itself, in fact 72 Rajya Sabha members retired, and polls for these seats (remaining 62) is now spread through the months to July. States where these seats will be contested from include Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar, Karnataka, Odisha and Madhya Pradesh.

Of the rest of the 62 seats, the BJP currently holds 30 seats and is confident of gaining some, but they might also lose some in States where Opposition parties have come to power.

Before 2014, the best ever tally for the BJP was 47 seats in the 2012-13 period, and it gradually bested this tally as Prime Minister Narendra Modi assumed office in 2014.

Congress has 29 seats

The Congress on its part has hit a new low, at 29 seats. The Rajya Sabha polls spread over the next few months till July will see no Akali Dal member in the Upper House for the first time in decades and only one BSP member, as two out of the three BSP members of the Rajya Sabha, retire in July.

The BJP was quick to mark this record with its information technology department convenor Amit Malviya tweeting out the news: "BJP and its allies win both the Rajya Sabha seats from Assam. The other two seats from the North East, namely Tripura and Nagaland also won by the BJP. This makes it 4/4. Congress draws a neat blank. The BJP now has 100 members in the Rajya Sabha. No party has been there after 1988."


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Printable version | May 5, 2022 10:41:08 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/bjp-hits-a-century-in-rajya-sabha-first-party-to-do-so-after-1988/article65281744.ece