The BJP-led NDA foresees smoother transaction of business in the Rajya Sabha from the Winter Session of Parliament as it is confident of getting its candidate elected to the post of vice-president, who is the chairman of the Upper House. Things will turn more favorable for the government from the next year’s Budget Session when the BJP, which is currently behind the Congress in numbers in the Upper House, will emerge as the largest party while the strength of the opposition will decline, party sources said. Of the 790 members of the both Houses of Parliament, who form the electoral college for the vice-presidential poll, the NDA enjoys a comfortable majority and the BJP sources claimed that they can get close to 550 votes due to support from many regional parties. The vice-president is the ex-officio chairman of the Rajya Sabha and has the final say in the matters of the House.
The sources said the NDA will opt for a candidate well- versed with the parliamentary proceedings. The government’s agenda has often met huge resistance in the Rajya Sabha where it is short of a majority and the House has at times adopted motions which have embarrassed it. Though the NDA will not get a majority in the House during the term of this government, its strength will increase substantially during the next Budget Session. The sources said the government can push its legislative agenda during its last full year in the office on the back of more coordination with non-NDA regional parties like the AIADMK, the BJD and the TRS. From now till the first week of April 2018, at least 72 elected members will retire.
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The BJP will score big from Uttar Pradesh where it enjoys an unprecedented majority in the assembly. It has only one member in the 10 who will retire in April but is now in a position in the state assembly to win nine of those vacant seats at the cost of the Samajwadi Party, the BSP and the Congress. In Maharashtra, the BJP and its ally Shiv Sena have two seats among the six to fall vacant in April but they can easily get four members elected. Likewise, numbers of the Congress will go down by around 10 seats from the current 58. The BJP’s tally can go near 70 from the current 56. In a first for the Aam Aadmi Party, its members will enter the Rajya Sabha for the time in January when they will replace three Congress members from Delhi.