BJP first party since 1990 to touch 100-seat mark in Rajya Sabha
New Delhi: For the first time in its history, the BJP has achieved the feat of having 100 members in Rajya Sabha after the party won one seat each in Assam, Tripura and Nagaland in the elections held on Thursday.
Once the results are notified, the BJP's tally will officially reach the landmark but its hold on the triple-figure may be tenuous as polls to around 52 more seats will be held soon and it is expected to suffer a drop in its numbers from states like Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Jharkhand.
Whether the BJP's expected gains from Uttar Pradesh, where it may win at least eight of the 11 potential vacancies, will make up for the loss remains to be seen. Out of the 11 retiring Rajya Sabha members from Uttar Pradesh, five are from the BJP.
In the recently held biennial polls for 13 Rajya Sabha seats across six states, the BJP lost its solitary seat from Punjab but gained one each from the three northeastern states and Himachal Pradesh where all five outgoing members were from opposition parties.
In Punjab, the Aam Aadmi Party won all five seats. While the Rajya Sabha website is yet to notify the new tally, the BJP's numbers will reach 100 if the three seats it has gained in the latest round of elections are added to the existing 97.
BJP's IT department in-charge Amit Malviya tweeted, "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."
The BJP's tally, despite way short of majority in the 245-member House, highlights its continuous rise since Prime Minister Narendra Modi led it to its majority in Lok Sabha in the 2014 polls. The BJP's strength in Rajya Sabha was 55 in 2014 and has since steadily inched up as the party won power in a number of states.
The last time a party had 100 or more seats in the Upper House was in 1990 when the then ruling Congress had 108 members before its steady decline. Its strength in Rajya Sabha fell to 99 in the 1990 biennial polls and continued to decline as it lost a stream of states and the coalition era began and continued till 2014