Rajya Sabha election 2018 results: BJP continues to be largest party in Upper House but majority eludes NDA
Despite a surge in numbers, the 126-majority mark still continues to elude the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA)
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) consolidated its position as the largest party in the Rajya Sabha with 69 seats, thus widening the gap with Congress, whose seat share has fallen to 50 seats from 54 in the recently concluded elections to the Upper House. Despite a surge in numbers, however, the 126-mark majority continues to elude the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA). The NDA now has 85 seats in the Rajya Sabha (not including TDP's six seats in the Upper House).
Here is a party-wise representation of how the Rajya Sabha now looks like:
Bharatiya Janata Party
The BJP, which earlier held 54 seats in the Rajya Sabha, has now increased its standing to 69 seats in the House. Among the 58 outgoing parliamentarians, for which the Rajya Sabha polls were held, 17 are from the BJP.
On 15 March, the last day of filing nominations, 16 BJP MPs were declared elected uncontested out of a total of 33.
The BJP registered a massive victory, as it won nine seats from Uttar Pradesh. The BJP members who won eight seats with ease are Union finance minister Arun Jaitley, Ashok Bajpai, Vijay Pal Singh Tomar, Sakal Deep Rajbhar, Kanta Kardam, Anil Jain, Harnath Singh Yadav and GVL Narasimha Rao.
The ninth candidate, businessman Anil Kumar Agarwal, was backed by the BJP, and defeated BSP's Bhimrao Ambedkar.
The party's Saroj Pandey won the the lone Rajya Sabha seat from Chhattisgarh, while Sameer Uranv emerged victorious in Jharkhand. The BJP also secured one seat in Karnataka with Rajeev Chandrasekhar's win.
The Congress' numbers in the Upper House decreased to 50 seats from the earlier 54. Five Congress members were elected unopposed on 15 March, with the other five having contested in Friday's polls across five states. Among the 58 outgoing parliamentarians, 14 are from the Congress.
Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi, supported by the Trinamool Congress, won in West Bengal, while the CPM's Rabin Deb, backed by the Left, lost. According to election officials, Singhvi garnered 47 votes.
In Jharkhand, Dheeraj Sahu emerged victorious a little past midnight on Friday. However, the Congress lost to the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) in Telangana. Congress candidate and former union minister P Balram Naik garnered only 10 votes, as Independent member D Prakash Reddy's vote was declared invalid by the Election Commission.
Two Congress members — Komatireddy Venkat Reddy and SA Sampath Kumar — could not vote as they were expelled from the House last week for allegedly hurling headphones during the governor's address, injuring Legislative Council Chairman Swamy Goud in the eye.
The TMC bagged four Rajya Sabha seats in West Bengal, in taking its total seats in the House to 13 from the previous 12. Out of the 58 parliamentarians retiring soon, three are from TMC — Kunal Kumar Ghosh, Vivek Gupta and Mohammed Nadimul Haque — whose term ends on 2 April, 2018, as per the Rajya Sabha official website.
All four Trinamool candidates — sitting Rajya Sabha member Nadimul Haque and first-time nominees Subhasish Chakraborty, Abir Biswas and Santanu Sen — emerged victorious in the vote count.
According to election officials, Trinamool's Chakraborty secured the highest number of 54 votes. Haque and Biswas got 52 votes each and Sen 51.
With three party members completing their Rajya Sabha terms on 2 April, 2018, the Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party won just one seat where they fielded Jaya Bachchan. This decreased its count in the Upper House to 16 seats.
Bahujan Samaj Party
The Mayawati-led BSP's seat share in the House remains unchanged at five. However, the party fielded Bhimrao Ambedkar in Uttar Pradesh, who lost to BJP-backed Independent candidate Anil Kumar Agarwal.
Telangana Rashtra Samithi
Telangana's ruling TRS bagged all three Rajya Sabha seats. B Prakash, J Santosh Kumar and AB Lingaiah Yadav were elected to the Upper House. This doubles TRS' strength in the Rajya Sabha, from three to six seats.
Parties where members elected unopposed
Members from parties such as BJD, TDP, RJD and JD(U) were elected unopposed on 15 March, the last day for filing of Rajya Sabha nominations. As a result, the new representation in the Upper House among these parties is as follows: BJD: 10 seats; TDP: 7 seats); RJD: 5 seats; JD(U): 9 seats; Shiv Sena: 3 seats; YSR Congress Party: 2 seats; NCP: 4 seats.
Here is an infographic showing how party representation was before the elections and how it has changed in the Rajya Sabha after the results were announced:
With inputs from PTI
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