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With 101 seats, BJP hits triple digits in Rajya Sabha for first time in party’s history

BJP won 4 seats in RS polls, becoming the first party to pass 100-seat mark after 1988-90. NDA now has 117 members in 245-member RS, while Congress hit a new low at 29 seats.

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New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has got a three-digit tally in the Rajya Sabha for the first time in its history, after winning four of the 13 seats up for election in the latest round of polls that concluded Thursday. 

This is the first time any party has hit three digits in the Upper House after 1988-1990. In the 1990 elections, the Congress’s tally dipped to double digits — 99 — for the first time since Independence. 

The addition of these four seats took the BJP’s tally to 101 in the 245-member House, although the number will come down to 100 when Punjab MP Shwait Malik’s term ends on 9 April. The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) now has 117 members in the Rajya Sabha, which has 236 members at present and nine vacancies. The Congress, on the other hand, hit a new low at 29 seats.

Of the 13 seats that went to the polls, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) won five and the BJP four. Meanwhile, the Congress, the Communist Party of India (CPI), the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI(M)), and the United People’s Party Liberal (UPPL) — the BJP’s ally in Assam — won one seat each.

Speaking to ThePrint, BJP national spokesperson Guru Prakash Paswan said, “The BJP touching the three-figure mark in the Rajya Sabha for the first time is a special moment. It has been possible only due to the relentless sacrifice, uncompromising ideals, and sustained hard work of our past and present leadership and karyakartas (workers).”

“It is the arrival of principled politics in the country. The people of India have decisively rejected the Congress’s politics of dynasty and entitlement,” he added.

Some BJP leaders, however, suggested caution, saying that the celebrations over the three-digit figure may be a little premature, given that there will be more vacancies shortly. 

There are 75 Rajya Sabha seats up for grabs this year. While polls for 13 of these took place on 31 March, the remaining 62 elections will be held later, in states including Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar, Karnataka, Odisha, and Madhya Pradesh. 

“We have 30 seats out of these 62, and we are definitely going to gain in some states, but things aren’t so clear for those states where we lost the assembly elections. So it remains to be seen whether this tally of 100 will remain intact or not,” said a senior BJP leader, speaking on condition of anonymity. 

‘No party has been there after 1988’

Neither the BJP nor its precursor, the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, had ever hit a three-digit figure before Thursday. Until the ‘Modi wave’ began to sweep the country in 2014, bringing the party to power in one state after another, the BJP’s best tally was 51 (in 2010-12). 

Graphic | ThePrint Team
Graphic | ThePrint Team

In a tweet, Amit Malviya, national convenor of the BJP’s IT cell, said, “BJP and its allies win both the Rajya Sabha seats from Assam. The other two seats from North East, namely Tripura and Nagaland, also won by the BJP. This makes it 4/4. Congress draws a neat blank.”

“The BJP now has 100 members in the Rajya Sabha. No party has been there after 1988,” he said, referring to the 1988-90 period when the Congress had 108 MPs.

“@BJP4India will be the first party since 1988 to have 100 seats in Rajya Sabha. NDA wins 2 seats from Assam!” tweeted Charu Pragya, national media panelist, BJP. 

 (Edited by Rohan Manoj)

Also read: Shivraj Chouhan is now BJP CM with longest time spent in chair, beating Raman Singh’s record


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