While Priyanka Gandhi had entered active electoral politics ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha election, she has not been a legislator at any tier of governance so far
With the Delhi Assembly election done and dusted and the polls in Bihar still eight months away, the political focus has shifted to the upcoming elections to the Rajya Sabha.
The speculation is rife that the Indian National Congress may get its General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra elected to the Rajya Sabha.
Priyanka Gandhi entered active electoral politics ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha election and has been Congress’ Uttar Pradesh in-charge. However, she has not been a legislator at any tier of governance so far.
The party is also considering bringing Jyotiraditya Scindia, Randeep Surjewala and RPN Singh to the Upper House.
Having won the elections in Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh in 2018, being part of the ruling coalition in Maharashtra and clinching Jharkhand in 2019, the Congress is hopeful of getting more Rajya Sabha seats from these states.
The Congress is reportedly confident of winning nine seats on its own and winning one or two more with the help of its allies.
The Congress is likely to bag two of the three seats in Rajasthan, two of three in Madhya Pradesh, two in Chhattisgarh, one in Maharashtra and one in Karnataka.
However, the Congress would lose seats in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Meghalaya and Assam.
Congress leaders Motilal Vora, Madhusudan Mistry, Kumari Selja, Digvijaya Singh, BK Hariprasad and MV Rajeev Gowda are among the top Congress leaders whose tenures are ending in April and June.
Of them, Vora, Selja and Digvijaya Singh are likely to be re-nominated by the party.
Besides, its leaders Raj Babbar and PL Punia are unlikely to get re-nominated from Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh, according to a PTI report.
A Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament (MP)’s term lasts for six years. As a result, elections for 1/3rd of all seats in the House take place every two years. Such an election last happened in 2018.
There is already a formula in place to determine how many votes (seats) a person has to win in a state assembly in order to get elected to Rajya Sabha.
Elections for over 60 seats in 2020 will happen in four phases — in February, June, July and November.
These polls will be held for some seats from Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, besides that for a nominated member.
While the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) enjoys a strong majority in the Lok Sabha, it lacks numbers in the Rajya Sabha. This has made it difficult for the party to pass contentious Bills in the Upper House.
To pass key legislation in the House, the party has so far depended on support from parties beyond its National Democratic Alliance (NDA). Yet, it has simultaneously worked to increase its tally as it won more states. BJP’s numbers in the Rajya Sabha have steadily risen from the 2014-level.
As the number moves towards the majority mark in the House, holding on to each seat has become crucial for Opposition parties.
The BJP has the maximum of 82 members and the Congress 46 in the Rajya Sabha, which has a total strength of 245. There are 12 nominated members in the upper house, eight of whom have aligned with the BJP.
Uttar Pradesh has the maximum representation of 31 members in the Council of States, followed by 19 MPs from Maharashtra, 18 members from Tamil Nadu and 16 MPs from West Bengal.(With inputs from PTI)
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