Rajya Sabha dynamics to change in April

Economic times, February 8, 2020

The Rajya Sabha is expected to see a change of dynamics, as a little more than 20% of seats are set for elections due to 55 seats falling vacant in April.
Of these, BJP currently has 18 MPs, while the Congress has 11. The rest of the seats belong to other parties. In all, BJP has 82 MPs in the Rajya Sabha, while the Congress has 46 MPs. The results of state elections will have some bearing on the party members that come to the Rajya Sabha.

For example, Maharashtra, which has the highest vacancy at seven, has a coalition government comprising the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress. Of the seven MPs retiring from Maharashtra, two are of BJP and NCP, the Congress and Shiv Sena have one each and one is an independent. In the changed scenario, the alliance parties in the state government are likely to get the maximum seats together.

In Tamil Nadu, there are six vacancies, out of which four are from AIADMK and one each from DMK and CPM. The DMK is sure of getting the one seat and may think of claiming the other, provided the left party approaches the DMK for support. In West Bengal, there are five vacancies, and all are likely to go with the TMC.

Bihar will have an interesting battle for five seats.

Of the five, three are with JDU and two with the BJP. In the changed scenario, both BJP and JDU are likely to lose one seat each to UPA, which has RJD, Congress, RLSP and HAM as constituents.

RJD is thinking of sending former chief minister Rabri Devi to the Rajya Sabha, while the second may go to any other party leader.

In Andhra Pradesh, the ruling YSR Congress is likely to win all the four seats, taking its number to six from two earlier. Gujarat will also see a close fight for four seats, of which BJP currently has three and the Congress one. Congress is sure of winning its one seat, but will try hard to wrest one more from the BJP. In Jharkhand, the JMM is all set to win one seat, with the party most likely to field Shibu Soren. Congress is planning to contest the second seat. However, the party will need a candidate who can get the votes of independents along with two votes of the AJSU.

In Madhya Pradesh, Congress is likely to send Digvijaya Singh for another term and there are talks on fielding senior Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia for the other seat. BJP is sure to win one seat and will also try to wrest a second seat.

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