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BJP’s 99 in Gujarat to tell on its Rajya Sabha strength

BJP workers celebrate in Gandhinagar. The party’s electoral performance has not been to its expectations.

BJP workers celebrate in Gandhinagar. The party’s electoral performance has not been to its expectations.   | Photo Credit: Vijay Soneji

The term of four Rajya Sabha members of the party from the State ends in April, but with its lower Assembly strength, it can win back only two of the seats

The results of the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections, announced on Monday, will lead to the BJP losing at least two Rajya Sabha seats when biennial elections are held to the Upper House in April.

The term of four Rajya Sabha members of the party from Gujarat ends in April. With 99 MLAs in the Gujarat Assembly, the BJP will be able to get its candidates elected to only two of the the four seats falling vacant. The BJP MPs whose term will end in April are Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Minister of State for Agriculture Parshottam Rupala, Minister of State for Roads and Highways and Chemicals and Fertilizers Mansukhbhai Mandaviya, and Shankabhai Vegad.

Congress’s gain

The BJP’s loss will be the Congress’s gain with the party now in a comfortable position to get two MPs into the Upper House. For one MP to be elected to the Rajya Sabha, both parties will require 36 MLAs. The BJP appeared unperturbed at the prospect, saying the party will gain nearly eight Rajya Sabha members from Uttar Pradesh, as elections will be held for a total of 10 seats in the April elections.

All this will still leave the BJP shy of a majority in the Upper House and it will have to continue to depend on friendly parties such as the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and the Biju Janata Dal for clearing crucial legislation. As of now, the strength of the National Democratic Alliance in the Rajya Sabha stands at 86, 37 short of the halfway mark.

The Congress suffered a jolt during the Rajya Sabha elections held in Gujarat last August as six of its MLAs in the previous Assembly left the party when Ahmed Patel was nominated as the party candidate. Mr. Patel, however, managed to win the election. The Congress had then charged the BJP with mounting a poaching operation.

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Printable version | Jul 14, 2020 1:46:03 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/bjps-99-in-gujarat-to-tell-on-its-rajya-sabha-strength/article21940520.ece

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