RS polls: political arithmetic to largely remain unchanged

Mallikarjun Kharge is among leaders who is expected to go to the Rajya Sabha.

Mallikarjun Kharge is among leaders who is expected to go to the Rajya Sabha.  

Opposition plans to bring in heavyweights to usher in qualitative change in the Upper House

The political arithmetic will largely remain unchanged in the Upper House with elections to 55 seats, but the Opposition expects to bring in qualitative change by nominating many of its heavyweights to the Rajya Sabha.

With its improved situation in Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Gujarat, the Congress is set to gain four seats from these three States.


In Rajasthan, three seats, all held by the BJP are up for grabs. Here the Congress is expected to get two seats. In Gujarat, with its improved tally in the Assembly, the party will gain an additional seat. Out of four seats going for election, currently the BJP has three seats and the Congress one. The party will add another seat in its kitty from Chhattisgarh. Out of the two seats falling vacant in April from the State, the Congress’s Motilal Vohra holds one and the other one is with the BJP. The Congress is expected to win both the seats in the State.

In Madhya Pradesh, where three seats will go for elections, the Congress currently holds one and the BJP two. Party sources said the Congress would try to wrest additional seat here. The Congress will, however, lose from Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Telangana and Himachal Pradesh. “On the balance, we may not increase our tally,” a senior Congress MP said.

Status quo

Out of seven seats of Maharashtra that will go for elections, status quo is expected with no change in the balance between the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress alliance versus the BJP. The Sena is expected to send Priyanka Chaturvedi, former Congress spokesperson who joined the party last year.


Some of the names of Congress leaders who are expected to be seen in the Upper House include Randeep Surjewala, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Malikarjun Kharge, R.P.N. Singh and Jitin Prasada.

The YSR Congress will vastly improve its tally. It currently has only two MPs but will win all the four seats from Andhra Pradesh that are going for elections.

More than numbers, this elections are being closely watched for the personalities expected to enter the Upper House.

Advantage TMC

In West Bengal, elections will be held for five seats. Of these, the TMC will retain all the four seats that it currently holds. However, the fate of the fifth seat depends on the CPI(M) Polit Bureau’s decision. The West Bengal CPI(M) unit is backing the renomination of general secretary Sitaram Yechury to the Rajya Sabha. But the Left will need the Congress’s support to elect him. It remains to be seen whether the party’s Polit Bureau agrees to such an arrangement.


6 seats in T.N.

In Tamil Nadu, where six seats are up for grabs, status quo will continue. Both the DMK and the AIADMK will be in a position to send three members each. Sources said the BJP has been putting pressure on the AIADMK to send a BJP leader on its quota. The CPI, meanwhile, is hoping that the DMK would cede one seat to it. If the DMK does agree, then CPI general secretary D. Raja could return to the Rajya Sabha.

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Printable version | Apr 8, 2020 8:14:41 AM |

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