Cross-voting helps BJP; NDA now four short of majority in Rajya Sabha | Political News – Business Standard

After the final round of the biennial Rajya Sabha elections to 56 seats, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has moved closer to a majority in the Upper House.

Of the 56 vacancies for which elections were held, the BJP had 28 sitting MPs, a number that was expected to be retained. However, the cross-voting in the Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh Rajya Sabha polls helped the BJP win two more seats, taking its victory count to 30. Once the newly elected members are sworn in in April, the number of seats in the House of Lords will increase to 96. This will increase the strength of the NDA to 117 seats. The total strength of the Rajya Sabha is 245 but there are currently five vacancies (four from Jammu and Kashmir and one vacancy in the nominated category). The NDA still needs four seats to reach a majority in the 240-member House of Lords.

Of the 11 nominated members in the Upper House, five have chosen to be identified as BJP MPs, including Gulam Ali, Rakesh Sinha, Ram Shakal, Sonal Mansingh and Mahesh Jethmalani. Ali’s term ends in 2028, while that of the other four ends in 2024. The remaining six, including Ranjan Gogoi, PT Usha and Ilaiyaraaja, are unaffiliated. There is one vacancy in the category.

While the BJP won 30 of the 56 seats in the biennial elections, the Congress won nine, the Trinamool Congress four, the Samajwadi Party two, the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) three, Rashtriya Janata Dal and Biju Janata Dal two seats each, and Shiv Sena, Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS), Janata Dal (United) and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) won one seat each. Since 2019, the BJP has been relying on the support of BJD, YSRCP and BRS to ensure passage of crucial bills.

First print: February 28, 2024 | 8:36 PM IST