In the five state elections in this round, Narendra Modi’s BJP has swept two, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, propelled itself into the game for government-formation for the first time in Manipur and may even have another shot at Goa. In Punjab, it was the junior partner to the Akali Dal in the ruling alliance that was routed. With its performance, it has all but sealed the Presidential election in July, assured itself of a more favourable Rajya Sabha math later and reworked the balance of power to its advantage ahead of the next Parliamentary contest in 2019.
As the curtain falls on the crucial assembly elections in five states, the outcome of the state elections will be felt on another crucial contest—filling up of Rajya Sabha seats over the next two years. A total of 10 Rajya Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh will go to polls in 2018. Later this year, one seat each in Goa and Uttarakhand will also go to polls. A landslide victory for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will give it a leg up in the Rajya Sabha and the biggest loss will be to Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), the two regional parties.
Out of the 10, six are from SP, two from Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), including former chief minister Mayawati, and one each from Congress and BJP go to polls next year. One seat each in Uttarakhand and Goa will also go to polls this year. The election of 12 Rajya Sabha members will make BJP the single largest party in the Upper House, giving the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) a clear edge over its arch rival Congress and other regional parties.
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The Rajya Sabha has been a problem area for the BJP since it formed the government in 2014. After becoming the single largest party in both the Houses of Parliament, BJP would be able to push its economic and social reforms agenda.“All roads are now open for the BJP. With the party’s tremendous victory in Uttar Pradesh, the BJP can win a good number of Rajya Sabha seats. This victory has now made 2019 a bit easy for itself,” said Abhay Kumar Dubey, a Delhi-based political analyst.
Currently, BJP has 56 seat in the Rajya Sabha while the Congress is the largest party with 59. A landslide win for BJP in Uttar Pradesh, which has a total of 73 seats in the Upper House, will help the government push crucial reforms legislation which could have otherwise been blocked by opposition parties.