Come April 2018, the Union government can look forward to easier passage of legislation. The spectacular victory of the BJP in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand will give the party all the elbow room it needs in the Rajya Sabha, where it has been impaired by a lack of numbers thus far.
In almost a year from now, elections will be held to 58 Rajya Sahba seats, including the largest chunk of 10 from Uttar Pradesh, eight of which the BJP is in a position to win.
Now, the Samajwadi Party holds six of those 10 seats, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) two (including the seat of party chief Mayawati), and the BJP and the Congress one each.
The retirement of these MPs means the BJP’s kitty going up in the Rajya Sabha. The SP will be reduced to 13 seats from the current 18, and the BSP to four from six. Pramod Tiwari of the Congress too will retire from the Upper House next April.
Some of the other States that will be sending in members are Madhya Pradesh (five seats), Maharashtra (six), Gujarat (four) and Rajasthan (three), all of which are ruled by the BJP. Andhra Pradesh will send in three new members in that round of polls.
The BJP, at present, has 56 seats in the Upper House, three short of the Congress tally of 59. The Congress numbers are often boosted by oppositional unity on certain issues. The large number of members being rotated from the States where the BJP is now in power will change that situation.
When it comes to the presidential election too, the BJP has nearly covered the gap to the magic number.
The presidential polls are held based on an electoral college of members of both Houses of Parliament and MLAs of State legislatures, with each vote accorded weight according to the population of the State and other calculations.
The electoral college has 10,98,882 votes. After Saturday’s verdict, the NDA is only short of 24,552 votes, where the gap was 79,274 earlier. With this, some long-delayed policy changes might be pushed through by the government.