Press Trust of india

BJP at 69, Congress at 50 in Rajya Sabha after polls

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New Delhi, Mar 24:The BJP has made a significant gain of 11 additional seats while the Congress made an overall loss of four in the biennial elections to 58 Rajya Sabha seats, consolidating the saffron party’s position in the House and leaving its main rival far behind.

Its 28 candidates emerged victorious in the polls held yesterday against 17 retiring members, while the Congress won only 10 seats while 14 of its members will retire next week.

A calculation of tallies show that the BJP’s strength in the 245-member House will go from the existing 58 to 69 and that of the Congress will fall from 54 to 50 when the new MPs take oath next week.

However, a majority in the Council of States will continue to elude the BJP-led NDA.

It recently suffered a setback when the Telugu Desam Party, its ally of four years, decided to break ties. The TDP has six members in the House.

However, NDA managers are upbeat following the loss in numbers of most vocal opposition parties like the Congress and the Samajwadi Party, which won only one seat while its six members are retiring.

BJP sources said treasury benches will now be more comfortably placed in the House as regional parties like the AIADMK, TRS, which has gained three more seats, YSR Congress and the BJD, all of whom are outside the NDA, have been more open to supporting the government’s legislative agenda.

The Modi government’s bills have often been stalled in the House, where it has lacked a majority, by a united opposition after it managed to pass them in the Lok Sabha, where it enjoys a strong majority.

BJP’s winning spree in state Assembly polls have resulted in a steady rise in its numbers in the House, whose members are elected by assemblies, while the loss of power of the Congress in many states has led to a fall in its numerical strength.

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