Power tilt ahead: The NDA’s looking at a Rajya Sabha majority

Results declared on Tuesday for 15 seats in the Rajya Sabha representing Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Karnataka saw the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) win 10.  (PTI)
Results declared on Tuesday for 15 seats in the Rajya Sabha representing Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Karnataka saw the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) win 10. (PTI)

Summary

  • The BJP did better than expected in this round. A majority in both Houses would ease its legislative path.

Results declared on Tuesday for 15 seats in the Rajya Sabha representing Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Karnataka saw the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) win 10. More stunning was the cross-voting in its favour, particularly in Himachal. Six Congress legislators and three independents that this party was counting on voted in favour of the BJP’s Harsh Mahajan. 

That gave him 34 votes to level the score with Abhishek Manu Singhvi, the Congress candidate whose presumptive tally had been 40. The tie led to a draw of lots in which the BJP candidate won. That was plain luck. But denuded support for the Congress raised the question of whether its state government in Shimla had lost its majority backing. We may not know unless it comes to a floor test, but there’s little doubt that the Congress is proving unable to retain the power it won in elections not long ago. 

More significantly for India, with these new wins, the National Democratic Alliance’s strength in the Rajya Sabha will rise to 117, which would bring it within sniffing distance of the 121 needed for a House majority. If attained, it could consolidate the BJP’s legislative hold and ease the pursuit of its policy agenda.

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