With a series of resignations and failure to retain seats in bypolls over four years, the ruling party’s tally has come down to 272 from what was 282 in 2014
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s tally has come down to 272 seats in the Lok Sabha for the first time in this tenure of Parliament.
BJP had won 282 seats in the 2014 general election, giving them a simple majority in the lower house of Parliament. The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) had won 336 seats out of 543.
The sudden dip in BJP’s tally was caused after Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan on Saturday accepted the resignation of BS Yeddyurappa and B Sriramulu. The two had to step down after becoming Members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) in the recently concluded Karnataka Assembly election.
The saffron party’s tally in the Lok Sabha however excludes the Speaker. Out of the 272 seats that BJP currently has, Kirti Azad stands suspended from the party while Member of Parliament from Patna Sahib Constituency Shatrughan Sinha is seen as a rebel.
BJP’s reduced tally will force the party to rely heavily on its NDA allies to help pass crucial bills in the final year of this Lok Sabha’s tenure. However, its allies include the Shiv Sena which has been on a warring path for a while. Similarly, N Chandrababu Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party (TDP) has walked out of the NDA.
However, the BJP-led government in the Centre continues to be safe and stable as it has around 313 members in the lower house, well above the 272-seat mark.
Since 2014, BJP has managed to retain just four Lok Sabha seats in bypolls — Lakhimpur (Assam), Shahdol (Madhya Pradesh), Beed (Maharashtra) and Vadodara (Gujarat).
In the last four years, BJP has lost Lok Sabha bypolls in Ratlam (Madhya Pradesh); Gurdaspur (Punjab); Alwar, Ajmer (Rajasthan) and Phulpur, Gorakhpur (Uttar Pradesh).
In order to maintain the tag of having a simple majority, BJP will have to battle fiercely in Bhandara-Gondiya and Palghar constituencies of Maharashtra and Kairana constituency of Uttar Pradesh in bypolls scheduled for May 28.
The two bypolls were necessitated after the death of BJP MP Chintaman Wanga in Palghar and MP Nana Patole’s resignation in Bhandara-Gondia.The Lok Sabha constituencies of Bellary and Shimoga, vacated by Sriramulu and Yeddyurappa, remain empty and will head for bypolls in the forthcoming months.