NEW DELHI (TIP): Rajya Sabha will see 53 members retiring on Friday, one of the biggest in recent times. Congress, with 65 seats, will be the biggest loser with 16 members retiring and chances of only a handful of them returning to the House.
For BJP, majority in the upper House though looks elusive. Five ministers —Venkaiah Naidu, Piyush Goyal, Nirmala Sitharaman, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and YS Choudhry — retire and all will be re-elected. BJP will increase its tally but will still fall short of majority.
It will gain in Rajasthan where the party has a massive majority. But successive losses in states will dent the strength of Congress.Among other parties, Samajwadi Party’s strength is likely to go up while BSP may lose its House power.
Naidu is likely to be reelected from Karnataka where a vacancy has been created after Vijay Mallya resigned. Naidu can even come from his home state Andhra Pradesh provided BJP seeks help of ruling Telugu Desam Party. In AP, TDP is likely to get three seats while YSR Congress will get one. In case Naidu comes from AP, Sitharaman, whose two-year term from AP is getting over, will have to be elected from some other state. Naqvi is likely to make it from UP and Choudhry, a TDP member, from AP. Goel will come from Maharashtra.
The Congress is likely to draw a blank from AP or Telangana. Jairam Ramesh, currently representing AP, is likely to make it from Karnataka since the party is in power there. P Chidambaram is also an aspirant from Karnataka. But other veterans like Hanumantha Rao and JD Seelam may not be so lucky. For Congress, Sushil Shinde, Gurudas Kamat and Mukul Wasnik are aspiring for the lone seat from Maharashtra. Former defence minister AK Antony’s return will depend on the outcome of Kerala assembly election. Congress will lose one seat in Punjab, since out of three members who are retiring, only two can come back.
UP will see SP increasing its strength. Out of six retiring members of BSP, only two will make a comeback.This will include Mayawati’s confidant Satish Chandra Mishra. From Bihar, five JDU) MPs are retiring. The party will retain two seats, while RJD will get two and BJP one. From Rajasthan, BJP is likely to get all four seats.