An extra berth: On the Rajya Sabha election results

The Rajya Sabha elections have allowed dissidents to find their voice

The BJP now has 97 members in the Upper House, and, along with the allies, is just four short of the majority mark of 121 in the Rajya Sabha, where the current strength is 240. While successive victories in the State elections have helped the BJP improve its position, growing from 78 members in 2019 to 97 at the end of the five years, the party has never shied away from pushing the boundaries of normative politics to increase its strength. The gap between the BJP, the single largest party in the Rajya Sabha, and the Congress, which has just 29 members, is far too wide to be bridged any time soon. The other Opposition parties too have only a limited presence with the Trinamool Congress at 13, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and the Aam Aadmi Party with 10 each, the Rashtriya Janata Dal with six and the Communist Party of India (M) with five. In past parliamentary sessions, the Opposition members were frequently suspended whenever they sought to question the government, making Parliament a theatre of the government’s unilateralism.