Rajya Sabha poll: Jaishankar, Derek O’Brien, 9 others to be elected unopposed, BJP likely to miss majority mark

Eleven members of the Rajya Sabha are set to be re-elected unopposed, according to media reports. These include India’s External Affairs member and Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) leader S Jaishankar, and Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Derek O’ Brien. 

The Rajya Sabha elections are set to be held on 24 July, 2023. 

West Bengal had nominated six TMC leaders including – Derek O’Brien, Sukhendushekhar Roy, Dola Sen, Saket Gokhale, Samirul Islam, Prakash Chik Baraik-who were announced as winners on Saturday, owing to the lack of an Opposition. 

The party has dropped Sushmita Dev and Shanti Chhetri who are due to retire. Gokhale is a Trinamool Congress spokesperson.

Three seats for Gujarat and one seat from Goa will see no voting on 24 July, as there are no opposing candidates. 

Notably, the BJP is set to gain another seat in the Rajya Sabha, surging the count of the JP Nadda led party’s members in the Upper House of the Parliament to 93. The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) does not enjoy a majority in the Rajya Sabha. 

Therefore, six Trinamool Congress and five BJP candidates will be elected unopposed to the Rajya Sabha. Further, the Trinamool has also won a bypoll on one Rajya Sabha seat in West Bengal.

The BJP camp leaders from Gujarat include S Jaishankar – who has won a second term in the upper house – Babubhai Desai and Kesaridev Singh Jhala. Anant Maharaj takes the BJP seat from West Bengal, and Sadanand Shet Tanavade from Goa.

Apart from BJP and TMC‘s Rajya Sabha roll, Congress is set to lose a seat in the upper house, bringing down its total to 30. 

This comes even as BJP-led alliance and Opposition leaders blaze guns strategizing for the upcoming 2024 Lok Sabha elections. Both camps have scheduled meets as show of strength on Monday and Tuesday (17,18 July) in Delhi and Bengaluru, ahead of the monsoon session in parliament set to commence from 20 July. 

The 245 member Rajya Sabha will see seven of its seats fall vacant on 24 July. This includes four seats in Jammu and Kashmir, two nominated and one vacant seat in Uttar Pradesh.

The Election Commission of India (ECI) earlier announced the schedule for the election across 10 Rajya Sabha seats in Goa, Gujarat and West Bengal to be held on 24 July.

Ten members from these states are set to retire in July and August. EC had said July 13 is the last date to file nominations for the vacant RS seats.

The votes will be counted at 5pm on 24 July.

In the upper House of the parliament, the BJP is seeks majority mark. Presently BJP and their allies have 105 members. The BJP is pinning hope on winning the support of five nominated and two independent MPs.

If that happens, their numbers will go up to 112. Considering that seven seats will fall vacant in Rajya Sabha, the total numbers of members will come down to 238, the majority mark will be 120. 

Despite BJP’s hope on winning support from the MPs, it will fall short of 8 members to achieve the majority mark.


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Updated: 17 Jul 2023, 02:45 PM IST

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