Election Commission Announces Rajya Sabha Elections For 59 Seats, BJP to Gain The Most

| February 24 , 2018 , 12:56 IST

The Election Commission of India announced the biennial elections for 59 Rajya Sabha seats on Friday. While the term of 58 sitting members from 16 states expires in April-May 2018, an additional seat was vacated after Rajya Sabha MP Veerendra Kumar from JD (U) resigned in protest of Nitish Kumar’s alliance with the BJP in Bihar.

Seats falling vacant - Andhra Pradesh 3, Bihar 6, Chhattisgarh 1, Gujarat 4, Haryana 1, Himachal 1, Karnataka 4, Madhya Pradesh 5, Maharashtra 6, Telangana 3, Uttar Pradesh 10, Uttarakhand 1, West Bengal 5, Odisha 3, Rajasthan 3 and Jharkhand 2.

Elections to all these 59 seats will take place on 23rd March and the counting too will be done on the same day.

Rajya Sabha members are elected for 5 years but elections are held every two years for nearly one-third of the strength of the house.

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Members of the state legislative assembly elect the Rajya Sabha members through the system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote.

This means that the strength and performance of political parties in the state assembly elections change the composition of the Rajya Sabha.

Right now, BJP led NDA has a brute majority in the Loksabha but the scenario is different in Rajya Sabha. The elections for these 59 seats, however, will change the composition of the house in their favour. BJP has 58 members in the upper house and can more than a dozen seats in the upcoming polls with maximum gains from Uttar Pradesh where it had a fantastic show in the assembly elections. However, they will still be short of the numbers required for a constitutional amendment.