The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s strength in the Rajya Sabha has swelled from 75 to 85 after the biennial elections of 61 seats but it is still short of the majority by 22 seats even if the strength of its allies in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is counted. The NDA's strength has now gone up to 102 in a House of 245, which means the half mark is 123 seats.
Calculations show the NDA will remain in minority in the House even until the 2024 general election. For that matter, no party has been able to have a clear majority in the House for the past three decades since 1990.
The biennial elections did not dip the strength of the Congress in the House as the general impression goes. The latest party position on the Rajya Sabha website shows its strength has rather increased by one seat from 39 to 40. The Congress-led UPA alliance strength is also much less than the NDA at just 65 seats.
It is, however, the support of a score of other parties the Congress has been able to outnumber NDA to block many legislations in the Modi dispensation since 2014. The government was, however, able to secure the support of the unattached parties such as Biju Janata Dal, now having 9 members, AIADMK (9 members), Samajwadi Party (SP) having 8 members and a score of smaller parties to get some of the controversial Bills passed in the House in Modi 2.0 government that are central to the BJP's ideology like the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill and J&K Reorganisation Bill abrogating Article 370.
With the increased strength of the NDA, the government is confident of getting its legislations passed in the Rajya Sabha with the support of the parties not aligned to the Congress opposition. It has no problem in steering the legislations in the Lok Sabha because of its thumping majority in the House.
8 bypolls deferred; fate of 48 today
New Delhi: The EC will meet on Friday to finalise the timing of 48 Assembly bypolls and one Lok Sabha byelection for Valmiki Nagar seat in Bihar, while it has deferred 8 other byelections up to September 7 in view of the “extraordinary circumstances”. The bypolls are to be held for 26 seats in MP that fell vacant from the Congress MLAs’ defection to BJP and their consequent resignation from the Assembly as supporters of rebel leader Jyotiraditya Scindia, who has since been elected to the Rajya Sabha as a BJP member from the state. 5 Assembly seats in UP and 2 in Tamil Nadu are among those vacant in various states and due for bypolls.