Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri and seven other Bharatiya Janata Party candidates were elected unopposed to the Rajya Sabha from Uttar Pradesh on Monday, PTI reported.
With this, the National Democratic Alliance further consolidated its position in Rajya Sabha by crossing the 100-mark in the 242-member House. It will also be easier for the government to push its legislative agenda in the Upper House, where it previously did not have a majority. Meanwhile, the Congress, which dominated the Upper House for a long time, is now down to 38 seats – its lowest ever tally. The party lost two more seats to the BJP in the elections.
Eleven Rajya Sabha seats – ten from Uttar Pradesh and one from Uttarakhand – were up for grabs. Samajwadi Party leader Ram Gopal Yadav and Bahujan Samaj Party’s Ramji Gautam won the other two seats from Uttar Pradesh.
Apart from Puri, BJP leaders Neeraj Shekhar, Arun Singh, Geeta Shakya, Haridwar Dubey, Brijlal, BL Varma and Seema Dwivedi were elected unopposed.
In Uttarakhand, senior BJP leader Naresh Bansal was elected unopposed to Rajya Sabha. His election was a mere formality as there was no contender, with the BJP having 57 out of the total 70 seats. Bansal replaces Congress leader Raj Babbar, whose tenure in Rajya Sabha ends on November 25.
The term of the newly elected members will be from November 25, 2020, till November 24, 2026.
There are 31 Rajya Sabha seats from Uttar Pradesh, of which 22 will now be with the saffron party, five with the Samajwadi Party and three with the BSP. The Congress will have only one seat.