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    BJP to inch closer to majority in RS after June 19 polls

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    BJP to inch closer to majority in RS after June 19 polls
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    New Delhi:  Come June 19, the BJP, along with its allies, other supporters and the friendly AIADMK, will be less than 10 seats short of the majority mark of 123 in the 245-member Rajya Sabha. Polling for 24 seats in the upper house of Parliament is scheduled for June 19.

    The Narendra Modi government will have an enhanced strength of 115 members in the chamber.

    The Bharatiya Janata Party alone is likely to have 84 seats, nine up from the present 75. Its NDA partners - the Janata Dal-United with five, the Shiromani Akali Dal with three and the Asom Gana Parishad, the Republican Party of India-A, the Bodoland People's Front, the Lok Janshakti Party, the Sikkim Democratic Front, the Naga Peoples Front, the National Peoples Party and the Mizo National Front - with one each - will bring 16 seats to the table, taking the alliance total to 100.

    This will be supplemented by the support of four nominated and two unattached members, aggregating to 106. The addition of nine members belonging to the AIADMK will take the Modi juggernaut to 115. This figure can undergo a slight change if the BJP is unable to make it in Jharkhand.

    As it looks like at the moment, the BJP will bag three of the four seats in Gujarat, two of the three in Madhya Pradesh, one of the three in Rajasthan and one each from Jharkhand, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh.

    By-elections are also due for one seat each in UP, Bihar and Kerala. That would mean a future gain of two seats by the NDA and one seat for the Opposition.

    Three parties -- the Biju Janata Dal, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi and the YSR Congress Party, with nine, seven and six seats, respectively -- which tend to come to the aid of the government on most crucial junctures, can provide a cushion of another 22 votes.

    The Samajwadi Party (eight) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (four), after travelling some distance in the company of the Congress and other opposition parties, have drifted away from them. So has the Telugu Desam Party led by N. Chandrababu Naidu. His party has one member. Depending upon their calculations at a given time, they can swing to either side. BJP managers can negotiate with them for support by their 13 members at any time.

    The opposition camp, which dominated the Upper House once upon a time, is now on a downward slide. Its combined strength will be around 90 seats. The principal opposition party Congress has 39 members. It will come down to 37, dropping one seat each in Karnataka, Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram and gaining one in Rajasthan. The Janata Dal-Secular may bag one seat in Karnataka.

    The Election Commission had initiated the process for filling 55 slots in April. A total of 37 people were elected unopposed. However, the process for the remaining 18 seats - Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat (four each), Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan (three each), Jharkhand (two) and Manipur and Meghalaya (one each) -- was deferred due to the lockdown. Polling for another set of six seats -- four from Karnataka and one each from Arunachal and Mizoram -- which fall vacant in June-July, has also been fixed for June 19.

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