India: BJP’s RS victory makes passage of key bills easier

  • BJP’s growing numbers in Rajya Sabha, along with those of its allies, will help Modi government reduce the numerical disadvantage it suffers in the Upper House and, with the help of some regional parties, can put it in touching distance of the majority mark.
  • The shrinking gap, which will reduce further with the terms of three nominated MPs getting over soon, offers the government the opportunity to negotiate issued-based support from some non-NDA and non-UPA parties.
  • Its support among independents and nominated MPs will add to its ability to get key bills passed. The party has a majority on its own in Lok Sabha and with NDA partners, the number reached 315 in a House with a current strength of 540.
  • The tally of seats in Rajya Sabha after 23 Mar 18’s results shows that the NDA can inch towards the half way mark of 123 if it gets the support of regional parties such as All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), TRS, YSR Congress and Biju Janata Dal (BJD).
  • Though BJP is set to take on Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in Odisha in the 2019 assembly election, the party has voted for key bills in the past. The data also show that there is still a big block of 115 members including from UPA, Left and Trinamool Congress, who are unlikely to support the government on a bill where the opposition is rallying against the government.
  • The government will have the option of improving its strength by nominating new members in place of three who are retiring later in Apr 18. Three of the present nominated members are likely to support the government and four of independent MPs are likely to go with the treasury benches.
  • While this is a good sign for BJP, which has been struggling in the Upper House since it assumed office in 2014, the stance of its allies after the SP wins in two Lok Sabha bypolls in Uttar Pradesh need watching.
  • The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) has broken its alliance with BJP and Shiv Sena has sulked and threatened though it has usually not struck. The Akali Dal has been at odds with BJP but is unlikely to vote with the opposition and same is the case with Janata Dal (U).

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