NDA likely to have majority in Rajya Sabha by 2021-22
The half-way mark in the upper house is 123 and the members of upper house are elected by the members of state assemblies.
In the 245-member Rajya Sabha, BJP is the largest party with 73 members. Its allies — JDU(6), SAD (3), Shiv Sena (3), and RPI-A(1) — take the NDA tally to 86. AIADMK, with 13 members, usually backs the ruling NDA. This takes the number to 99.
Thus, NDA is only 24 short of the majority mark of 123 in the House. Regional parties like TRS(6), YSRCP(2) and BJD(9) extend issue-based support to NDA. There are six Independents. BJP leaders claim NDA will get the majority in the House by 2021.
There will be two vacancies from Assam next moth as tenure of former PM Manmohan Singh and Santiuse Kujur (both Congress) ends on June 14. With BJP in power there, these will go to it. NDA partner Ram Vilas Paswan is most likely to get a Rajya Sabha seat from the state as part of the deal with BJP before the Lok Sabha polls.
Fifty-five seats will fall vacant in April 2020 in UP, Maharashtra, Assam, Jharkhand, Haryana, Rajasthan and Himachal, among others. Some of these will go to the BJP/NDA. The real gains will be from UP when nine non-BJP seats will fall vacant. Of these, only one can go to SP while the remaining will be BJP’s. Ram Gopal Yadav, Neeraj Shekhar, Javed Ali Khan (all SP) and PL Punia (Congress) will be among those retiring.
In April 2022, another 10 Rajya Sabha seats in UP will fall vacant. This includes the seat of Amar Singh, who won as an Independent but backs BJP. Those retiring include Satish Chandra Mishra (BSP), Beni Prasad Verma, Rewati Raman Singh (both SP) and Kapil Sibal (Congress).
BJP will also get more MPs from Assam in the Upper House as Congress members Bhubaneswar Kalita and Sanjay Sinh (both in 2020) and Ripun Bora and Rani Narah (2022) complete their term.
A majority in both Houses will help the government get some crucial bills passed. The Congress-led opposition has prevailed over the government in the Upper House due to its numerical strength. This has led to several bills being sent to a select committee even after being vetted by a standing committee, and then getting further delayed in the House during debates.
The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, Companies (Amendment) Bill, Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill are some of the proposed legislations that are hanging in the Rajya Sabha.
An NDA majority in the Upper House will also put pressure on the government to take a call on passing a legislation for building a Ram temple at Ayodhya.