Skip to main content

Setback to NDA's "reforms" agenda? Five state elections will not change Rajya Sabha numbers for BJP

By Our Representative
The BJP may have won Assam for the first time with a handsome margin, but its dream of having a majority in the Rajya Sabha, considered crucial for the party to push what it interprets as "economic reforms", is unlikely to materialize before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
A report by a data analysis site, has said, the elections to the five assembly seats -- Assam, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Poducherry, "will not have a significant impact on the numbers in the Rajya Sabha."
The analysis says, "The NDA cannot expect to gain even a single seat in the Rajya Sabha from these five states, before the 2019 Lok Sabha election", adding, as for the UPA, it "will lose two seats, and other parties will gain two seats from these states by 2019."
The analysis admits, "Though the BJP won the 2014 Lok Sabha election with a clear majority, it has been finding it difficult to pass bills in the Upper House or the Rajya Sabha."
One of the most crucial bills it had to drop because of lack of numbers in Rajya Sabha was an amendment to the Land Acquisition Act, 2013, in order to allow quick disbursement of agricultural land to industry. Another important bill pending nod is the Goods and Services Tax bill.
The analysis, by Rakesh Dubbudu, says, "Since the Rajya Sabha members are elected by the MLAs in states, Congress had better numbers in 2014 to start with. The Rajya Sabha members are elected by the method of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote (STV)."
He adds, "Each state has a fixed number of Rajya Sabha seats. Members keep retiring after their 6 year tenure and elections take place as and when there is a vacancy."
Today, out of the 241 members of the Rajya Sabha, 70 belong to the UPA, 66 to the NDA, 96 to others, and 9 are nominated. The bulk of the others come from the regional parties like SP, BSP, AIADMK, Trinamool Congress, BJD, JD(U), CPI(M) etc.
A state wise analysis of the five states which went to the polls suggests that Kerala sends 9 members to the Rajya Sabha. "Out of the 9, three are due to retire in July 2018 while the rest of the six will retire after 2020", the analysis states. Of these three, two are held by the UPA while one is held by others (LDF).
"Based on the current results, the UPA will be able to retain only 1 seat while others (LDF) will win two seats", the analysis says, adding, "Thus, the net change before the 2019 Lok Sabha Election will be UPA (-1), Others (+1)."
As for Tamil Nadu, the analysis says, it sends "18 members to the Rajya Sabha. Only 4 of those seats will see a re-election before the 2019 Lok Sabha election. Three of the 4 seats are currently held by the UPA while one is held by others (AIADMK). Based on current results, UPA will be able to retain only 2 out of the 4 seats while others (AIADMK) will win the rest of the two seats."
The net change, here, before 2019 Lok Sabha elections will be "UPA (-1), Others (+1)", the analysis says.
Puducherry sends just one member to the Rajya Sabha who is currently from AIADMK. "His term ends in 2021. Hence there will be no change in the numbers before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections", the analysis says.
As for West Bengal, it sends 16 members to the Rajya Sabha. "There will be two re-elections before the 2019 Lok Sabha election. The first one will be held for five seats in August 2017. Currently, only one of these seats is held by the UPA while the remaining four are held by Others (Trinamool Congress and CPM)", the analysis says.
It adds, "Based on the current results, four of them will be won by Trinamool Congress while the remaining seat can go to the Congress if the Left parties support it."
Further, "The second re-election will take place for 5 more seats in April 2018. Four of these are now held by the Trinamool Congress and the remaining is held by the CPI(M). Based on the current results, Trinamool Congress can easily retain the four and the fifth one might go to the Congress or the Left depending on their agreement", the analysis points out.
It adds, "In effect, there might not any change in the numbers at the national level."
Finally, coming to Assam, which send 7 members to the Rajya Sabha, the analysis says, "The nearest re-election will happen in June 2019, by when the 2019 Lok Sabha election will be over. Though the BJP led NDA will win a few seats after 2019, they cannot hope to gain any seat before the 2019 Lok Sabha election."
Thus, the analysis safely concludes, "While the Congress has lost both Kerala & Assam in these elections, it would not have a significant impact on the Rajya Sabha numbers from these five states."

Comments

TRENDING

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam*
RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

RSS supremo Deoras 'supported' Emergency, but Indira, Sanjay Gandhi 'didn't respond'

By Shamsul Islam*
National Emergency was imposed on the country by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on June 25-26, 1975, and it lasted for 19 months. This period is considered as ''dark times' for Indian democratic polity. Indira Gandhi claimed that due to Jaiprakash Narayan's call to the armed forces to disobey the 'illegal' orders of Congress rulers had created a situation of anarchy and there was danger to the existence of Indian Republic so there was no alternative but to impose Emergency under article 352 of the Constitution.

Letter to friends, mentors: Coming together of class, communal, corona viruses 'scary'

By Prof (Dr) Mansee Bal Bhargava*
COVID greetings from Ahmedabad to dear mentors and friends from around the world…
I hope you are keeping well and taking care of yourself besides caring for the people around you. I’m writing to learn how is the science and the society coping with the prevention and cure of the pandemic. I’m also writing to share the state of the corona virus that is further complicated with the long-standing class and communal viruses.

Hurried nod to Western Ghat projects: 16 lakh Goans' water security 'jeopardised'

Counterview Desk
Taking strong exception to "virtual clearances" to eco-sensitive projects in the Western Ghats, the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) in a statement has said urged for a review of the four-lane highway, 400 KV transmission line and double tracking of the railway line through the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary and Mollem National Park in Goa.

Disturbing signal? Reliance 'shifting focus' away from Indian petrochemical sector

By NS Venkataraman*
Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), a large Indian company, has expanded and grown in a spectacular manner during the last few decades, like of which no industrial group in India has performed before. RIL is now involved in multi various activities relating to petroleum refineries, petrochemicals, oil and gas exploration, coal bed methane, life sciences, retail business, communication network, (Jio platform) media/entertainment etc.

Oxfam on WB project: ICT 'ineffective', privatised learning to worsen gender divide

By Rajiv Shah 
A top multinational NGO, with presence in several developed and developing countries, has taken strong exception to the World Bank part-funding Strengthening Teaching-Learning and Results for States (STARS) project in six Indian states – Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Odisha – for its emphasis on information and communication technology (ICT)-enabled approaches for teacher development, student assessment and digital platform for early childhood education.

Case for nationalising India's healthcare system amidst 'strong' private control

Counterview Desk
A draft discussion note, prepared by Dr Maya Valecha, a Gujarat-based gynecologist and activist, sent to the People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) as also a large number of activists, academics and professionals as an email alert, is all set to create a flutter among policy experts for its strong insistence on nationalizing India’s healthcare system.

Cruel legacy of Green Revolution? Covid-19 underscores 'risky, fragile' food system

By Moin Qazi*  The Covid-19 crisis has highlighted the risks of an unhealthy diet and the extreme fragility of food systems. The economic reconstruction that will follow the pandemic is the perfect opportunity to provide better nutrition and health to all. The pandemic should spur us to redefine how we feed ourselves, and agricultural research can play a vital role in making our food systems more sustainable and resilient.

Coal blocks for tycoons: Rinchi village tribals may be declared forest land encroachers

By Gladson Dungdung*
On June 18, 2020, the Government of India initiated the process for auctioning 41 coal blocks for commercialisation. These coal blocks are located in different states within India and most of them fall under Fifth Schedule areas. The Indian government claims that their decision to auction these coal areas is a big step towards making the country Atmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant) in the energy sector.