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The election of BJP's Sampathiya Uikey from Madhya Pradesh as a member of the Rajya Sabha has created history for the party as for the first time in 65 years, Congress is no longer the single largest party in the House. Including Uikey, the BJP now has 58 lawmakers in the Rajya Sabha as compared to Congress which has 57. Although Congress was expected to maintain its lead until 2018 at least, the party's numbers reduced with the death of two of its Rajya Sabha members.
On August 8, elections are to be conducted for 9 Rajya Sabha seats, 6 in West Bengal and 3 in Gujarat, however, BJP is likely to maintain its lead over Congress in the upper house. While in Gujarat BJP is fielding ace candidates national party president Amit Shah and union minister Smriti Irani, in West Bengal Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress is poised to win.
The elections in Uttar Pradesh scheduled for next year for 9 seats of Rajya Sabha are expected to further cement BJP's position in Rajya Sabha. Although the BJP and its allies have a significant majority in the Lok Sabha, the government has struggled with the Rajya Sabha as it is in a minority.
Leader of the House in the Rajya Sabha, Union Finance Arun Jaitley said that the BJP becoming the largest party in Rajya Sabha is "natural consequence of our support base increasing".
"We are in power in most states and since the Rajya Sabha is a council of the states, the strength of the BJP has to be reflected," he said.
Jaitley added that the "base will increase in every election".