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NDA’s might increasing steadily in Upper House
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had formed the Government at the Centre with heavy majority in the Lok Sabha, but now the BJP and NDA have become stronger in the Rajya Sabha as well. Though the alliance doesn’t have majority and the Congress is still the largest party, the NDA has gone from strength to strength. The scenario will certainly change after the biennial election of the Rajya Sabha in April 2018, and after that, the BJP will be the largest party and the NDA will become the largest alliance.
If Venkaiah Naidu becomes the country’s Vice-President, he will be the chairman of the Rajya Sabha too, and this will be the greatest advantage for the BJP. At present, chairman Hamid Ansari and vice-chairman PJ Kurien are from the Opposition. The BJP will get one more advantage in the Rajya Sabha when Amit Shah enters the House. He is fighting from Gujarat and will join the House in the ongoing Session itself.
The third advantage for the BJP will come from Nitish. The JDU has joined the NDA; it has two MPs in the Lok Sabha, and nine MPs in the Rajya Sabha. In the next biennial election, the JDU’s strength in the Rajya Sabha will go down. Now, it is also being said that the AIADMK, the ruling party in Tamil Nadu, will also become a part of the NDA. If this happens, the BJP will get the benefit of 13 MPs in the Rajya Sabha. In the past few months, the BJP has gained many seats on its own too. The lone seat of Goa has gone to the BJP and if byelections are held on Mayawati’s seat, that would also go to the BJP kitty.
At present, the Congress is the largest party in the Rajya Sabha with the difference of one seat. The Congress has 57 seats, while the BJP has 56. After the election scheduled for August 8, both parties will be on equal footing, and if the BJP wins all three seats from Gujarat, then it will have one more seat than the Congress. The total strength of the NDA is 84, and the Opposition is far ahead. But this scenario will change by the next year. The number of BJP MPs might go up by 10. Apart from that, four MPs might increase in the nominated category. On the other hand, the number of Opposition MPs will go down.
Patel’s Rajya SABHA RACE
Ahmed Patel, the political secretary of Sonia Gandhi, is fighting the Rajya Sabha Election from his home State, Gujarat. He has consecutively won these elections four times. So, this fight would not have been very tough for him. The Rajya Sabha Election has been held once in Gujarat, and the Congress has won easily even after the BJP formed the Government at the Centre and Amit Shah took command of the party. But this time, Patel will not have it easy, and this election will be the test of his skill.
It seems that the BJP and its National President Amit Shah were waiting for Patel to fight the election, and all efforts are being made to ensure his defeat. An agitated Patel went on to say in an interview that this was a personal vendetta against him. Despite this, there is an impression that Patel is fighting alone. There are indications of rivalry for supremacy within the party.
There was also news that West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had given a proposal to send Patel to the Rajya Sabha from her State, only to be turned down by Rahul Gandhi. He is of the view that if Patel leaves his State, it would give a bad impression for the Assembly Elections. In this scenario, the entire party must stand united behind Patel, but that is clearly not the case.
RALLYING FOR LALU RALLY
The RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav is the most hassled leader in the country right now. On one hand, he has to ensure his presence at the CBI court, and on the other hand, his entire family is facing investigation by Central agencies. The remaining family members will soon face probe by State agencies. And amid the controversy, he has to prepare for the rally scheduled for August 27.
The plan for the rally was chalked out when the RJD was in power. Lalu had raised the slogan of “BJP bhagao, Bihar bachao”. The entire Opposition was scheduled to attend this rally. But before that, the Government in Bihar changed and Nitish joined hands with the BJP. When Lalu had announced the rally, there was news that Nitish had promised he would attend it. But now, it is being said that there are plans to sabotage this rally.
As per sources, all DMs and SPs have given unofficial instructions to ensure that the rally fails. Some of these ways are: Seizing vehicles before the event, harassing leaders, and checking documents of vehicles headed for the rally. It is no secret that many administrations have indulged in these activities to make or break a rally.
Apart from these local problems, the greatest problem is that Lalu and his son Tejaswi might be arrested. Since Lalu is stuck in legal proceedings, Tejaswi is looking after the rally preparations. He is supposed to start a yatra from Champaran, but what will happen if action is taken against him? Some say Rahul and Mamata will also supposedly participate in the rally. So, Tejaswi is making a vertical chain in the party to assign various responsibilities.
EARLY ELECTIONS IN BIHAR?
The Assembly Elections in Bihar are scheduled for November 2020. But now it is being said that polls can be held before schedule. There are many speculations over the timing of the elections. Many leaders say they can be held along with the elections of other States by the end of next year. The Assembly Elections in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Chhattisgarh are to be held by the end of next year.
Some say they can even be held with the Lok Sabha Elections in April-May 2019. At that time, elections will be held in the name of Narendra Modi, and since the Opposition has no face, the BJP and its alliance partners will have an upper hand. At that time, polls could be held in many States too. Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Odisha will go to polls along with the Lok Sabha Elections. At the end of 2019, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, and Haryana will go to polls. It is also being said that elections in these three States can be held a little earlier. If this happens, seven major States will go to polls along with the Lok Sabha Elections.
In fact, the BJP and JDU support holding the Assembly Elections along with the Lok Sabha polls. They think that the Opposition is more powerful right now; Lalu has 80 MLAs, while the Congress has 27. Of the total 243 members of the Assembly, the Opposition has 110 MLAs. The BJP has only 52 MLAs, whereas they were more than 90 last time. The party has to increase the number of MLAs. The JDU has 71 MLAs, while the last time they had around 116. Both parties can decide to go into elections to weaken the Opposition and strengthen themselves.
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