NDA’s bid to tilt balance in Rajya Sabha begins by filling seven vacancies

A total of 12 people are scheduled to retire in April. The election recently held to fill these seats afresh has resulted in a continuation of the status quo.

Written by Pradeep Kaushal | New Delhi | Published: March 17, 2016 3:29 pm
Congress, rajya sabha, lok sabha, congress in arunachal pradesh, arunachal pradesh congress, congress walks out of lok sabha, rajya sabha in arunachal pradesh A view of the Rajya Sabha in New Delhi on Friday. PTI Photo / TV

Hard pressed for numbers in the Rajya Sabha, the ruling BJP and its allies are set to register big gains this year, though they would still remain far below the half-way mark in the 250-member Upper House.

To start with, the Government would be able to fill seven vacancies in the category of Nominated members to the House, which would take its present tally from 48 to 55. The category has a total of 12 slots. Two nominated members, Ashok Ganguly and H K Dua, retired last November. Five others – Mani Shankar Aiyar, Javed Akhtar, B Jayashree, Mrinal Miri and Bhalchandra Mungekar – are completing their tenures this month. Nominated members have the option of accepting or refusing the whip of a particular party. Aiyar, for instance, chose the Congress. Logic dictates that members vote along the line set by the party which would have nominated them.

A total of 12 people are scheduled to retire in April. Five of them are from Punjab – two each belonging to the Congress and the Akali Dal and one to the BJP. The election recently held to fill these seats afresh has resulted in a continuation of the status quo.

The election to fill three vacancies from Kerala has resulted in the return of senior Congress leader AK Antony and another UDF nominee, MP Veerendra Kumar of the JD(U). The CPI-M has been able to get only one person, K Somaprasad, in to the Upper House, losing a second seat to the rival alliance.

The Congress is likely to retain its two seats from Assam. The party has already taken one seat from the BJP in Himachal Pradesh, with its deputy leader in the House, Anand Sharma, replacing Bimla Kashyap Sood. In Tripura, the CPI(M) will hold on to its seat. This round will increase the power of both the Congress and the JD(U) in the House by one seat each, and the BJP’s score, one down, resulting to 54.

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  1. A
    Abhinav Gour
    Mar 17, 2016 at 10:47 pm
    Could we please close this Rajya Sabha snd give the money spent on daily business to poor
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      MyTake
      Mar 17, 2016 at 9:21 pm
      India boosts of having democracy - British Paliamentarian type. It is far from the truth and is another attempt to hogwash the public eye/mind in public! British Parliament reserves 26 seats for Church of England which are not elected positions. Where is the equivalent of that in Indian Parliament - reserving seats for spiritual leaders based on faith? RS having spiritual representatives only proportional to the potion could at least bring it closer to British Parliamentarian type. At present Indian democracy at best can be said to be coming with Bollywood tinge but not British Parliamentarian or American Presidential type!
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      1. M
        MyTake
        Mar 17, 2016 at 9:06 pm
        Un-elected members should not have that much power if true value of democracy is to be taken into account. At least look at its totality of supports in LS RS taking together for making a final decision, which will make RS member equal to that of LS (Again un-elected member having power equal to that of elected one but atleast a step forward)
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          arvint
          Mar 17, 2016 at 5:33 pm
          No individual is bigger than India
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            arun
            Mar 17, 2016 at 12:04 pm
            No need for NDA to worry, because Modi the RSS election campaigner will ensure that BJP wins in am, Tamilnadu, Kerala and Bengal with one single slogan "BHARAT MATA KI JAI"
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