The favourable results of Assembly elections in 5 states have enabled the BJP not just to push more assertively for a candidate of its choice for presidential polls this year but also given the party a chance to increase its numbers in the Rajya Sabha.
In the arithmetic of the Rajya Sabha, these resounding electoral victories will not result in immediate good news for the BJP. In 2017, 10 seats are on offer out of which 6 belong to West Bengal. Even if BJP retains its seats in Gujarat and Goa, that will not add to its kitty.
The BJP will enjoy the real fruits of its victory in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand in 2018. As many as 10 Rajya Sabha seats will be up for election in Uttar Pradesh and the BJP will be in a position to win 9 of them. In 2020, another 10 seats will be up for contest in UP and the party will be in a situation to bag another 9 out of those.
THE NUMBERS GAME IN RAJYA SABHA
In Uttarakhand, the BJP can win one Rajya Sabha seat in April 2018, when the current Congress member retires. The BJP will have the upper hand in 3 Rajya Sabha seats from Jharkhand in April 2018. Apart from this, the states of Karnataka, MP, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh will also go to polls. Tenures of 5 MPs from Madhya Pradesh, 4 MPs from Rajasthan, 4 from Karnataka and one from Chhattisgarh will end in 2018. The tenure of 4 appointed MPs will also end in 2018 and this will help BJP to push its agenda in the upper house.
As of now, Congress has 59 Rajya Sabha members whereas the BJP has 56.
But it is not only in the crucial arithmetic of Rajya Sabha that the BJP stands to gain following its great showing in Assembly elections. The party's emphatic victory in the elections will also help it a lot in the presidential polls to be held in July this year.
HOW IS THE PRESIDENT ELECTED?
The President of India is elected through an electoral college consisting of MPs from Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha and MLAs from states and Union Territories. The total pool comes from 776 MPs and 4120 MLAs and it is close to 10.9 lakh votes.
The value of 1 MP's vote is equal to 708 votes while the value of an MLA's vote varies according to the population of the state as per the 1971 census. Out of this mammoth electoral college, Uttar Pradesh alone accounts for more than 83,000 plus votes equivalent to 7.6 percent of the total electorate.
With BJP winning states like Maharashtra, Haryana, Assam, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and key states like Arunachal Pradesh going to the kitty of its allies, the party is in a very strong position to get its candidate to be chosen the next President.