We believe we will have a working majority in the Rajya Sabha following these polls, a senior BJP leader said. RJD president Lalu Prasad too had offered to send Mayawati to the Upper House from Bihar in July previous year. Currently, there are 58 members against 57 of the Congress.
The Rajya Sabha election is slated for March 23.
In April 2018, 58 members of the Upper House will complete their term.
The BJP, with 122 MLAs in the state Assembly, can win three seats with the help of Independents while the Sena with 63 seats, the Congress with 42, and the NCP with 41 seats, can win one seat each.
The BJP leader quoted above argued that while the party has been the single-largest in Rajya Sabha since August previous year, many important bills, including one to ban instant triple talaq and another to provide constitutional status to the other backward classes commission have not been cleared by the Upper House. "Electorally, the BJP under Prime Minister Narendra Modi has done well in the last four years and this electoral strength would now be visible in Rajya Sabha", the BJP leader added. The following states from where the seats are getting vacant are Uttar Pradesh (10), Bihar (6), Maharashtra (6), Bengal and Madhya Pradesh (5 each), Karnataka and Gujarat (4 each), Jharkhand (2), Chattisgarh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Uttrakhand (1 each). The ruling alliance is expected to re-nominate them for a new term.
The small and sulking Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM), led by former Bihar chief minister and Dalit leader Jitan Ram Manjhi, is raring to extract its pound of flesh when Rajya Sabha polls in the state are round the corner. Opposition unity in the Upper House could face a blow with Samajwadi Party losing a massive share from Uttar Pradesh.
"If we don't get one of the three seats in Bihar, we will not only not campaign for any other candidate but will actively campaign against them in the special election in the state", Danish Rizwan, HAM spokesperson, attributed the quote to Manjhi who has been accused by both Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Janata Dal - U leaders of overestimating his political value.