Bangalore: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) may be firmly in saddle with a thumping majority in the Lok Sabha, but it will have to use special skills to win over other parties to get its legislative agenda through in the Rajya Sabha.
BJP-led NDA's strength in the Upper House of Parliament does not exceed 64. The Congress has 68 members.
The BJP on its own has 46 members and its likely supporters AIADMK and TDP have 10 and six respectively. Opponents are much stronger with BSP having 14 members followed by TMC 12, SP six, NCP six and JD-U 2 among others.
It would be very difficult for the NDA to muster the required support of 121 members to pass any bill in the 240-member House without the support of either the Congress or a clutch of other parties.
UPA 2, despite having 102 members was heavily dependent on BJP and at times its friendly parties to pass the bills.
Although it succeeded in passing some important bills, yet bills like direct tax code, and goods and services tax bills and a number of anti-graft legislations are still pending as the principal opposition party did not support them.
There are over 50 bills pending in the Rajya Sabha whose composition is unlikely to change much in the next one-and-a-half years.
Starting from now until end of 2015, only 23 vacancies, including two for nominated members, will be opened.
Even if NDA fills some vacancies it will be far from a majority and obliged to bank heavily on non-NDA parties. As of now there are five vacancies and 12 more to come up in six months. A Bill has to pass both Houses and get the President's nod to become an Act.
Bills pending in the Rajya Sabha include Judicial Appointments Commission Bill, Drugs and Cosmetics (Amendments) Bill and Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill among others.
Aftab H. Kola - Times of Oman Correspondent