New Delhi: The ensuing presidential election and the poll to elect a new Vice President of India would be a smooth affair for BJP-almost a cakewalk.
M Venkaiah Naidu took over as Vice President on August 11, 2017, while President Ram Nath Kovind was sworn in on July 25, 2017.
When the call for ‘Congress mukt Bharat’ was given, it was dismissed as the wishful thinking of a man who saw everything through the Gujarat prism.
But some of it has come true in the last few years. Around 2014-15, the Congress arrogance was reflected mostly in Rajya Sabha – ‘we will sabotage everything here’ was the virtual refrain.
For instance, in 2015, an ‘unrelenting and united’ opposition ensured that the Rajya Sabha could not conduct any business as it demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi clarify his government’s stand on conversions. The NDA was in the minority in the Upper House.
Even the insurance bill was stalled. Congress essentially had no serious objections to it since it was first moved by the Congress-led UPA in 2008. But by 2014-15, as the table had turned, the Congress was in no mood to help the BJP in the expeditious passage of the Bill.
Now the same grand old party is heading for a situation where its numerical strength in India’s Upper House could come to its lowest – around 30.
A quick look at the tally suggests the Congress party is likely to have one member each from Bihar, Kerala, and Jharkhand. It will have five members each from Rajasthan and Karnataka, four from Chhattisgarh, and three each from Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat. It could also have two from Haryana and two more from West Bengal.
By June-July, the Congress strength could be around 31. Of these, one could be due to DMK’s help in Tamil Nadu.
The Congress’s tally in the Rajya Sabha was 33 at the end of March. Nine will retire in June-July, and after the next round of polls to the House of Elders, the Congress strength would be around 30-31.
Numbers in state legislatures reveal that the grand old party may not have any Rajya Sabha representation from major and politically critical states such as Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab and Delhi.
A similar fate is likely to be expected from Telangana, Uttarakhand, Odisha, Himachal Pradesh and Goa.
More of it. The Congress bastion is crumbled to such a level in the northeast that there would be no Congress MP in Rajya Sabha from eight of these states. At one point, Congress ruled over all the states in the region, and no less than incumbent Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh was a member in the Upper House from Assam.
Among the states, the Congress is zero-MLA strong in West Bengal, Nagaland and Tripura. It got one MLA in recent elections in Uttar Pradesh.
The party has no Lok Sabha representative from Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Uttarakhand, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura.
The Congress tally touched its lowest at 44 in 2014, which increased to 52 in 2019. The Congress strength in Lok Sabha in 2009 was 206.