The Election Commission on Friday announced dates for biennial polls to the Rajya Sabha for 58 seats across 16 states, with the BJP-led NDA looking at a more comfortable position for itself in the Upper House come April, while still not gaining a complete majority.
"The voting will be done at a notified polling station in the state Assembly premises on March 23 (9am to 4pm) and counting will be done on same day at 5 pm".
In January this year, for the first time, the BJP became the single largest party in the Rajya Sabha, pushing the Congress to the second position by one seat: 58 seats as against Congress's 57.
The BJP's increasing strength will give confidence to the party to easily pass key legislations like insurance bill, Triple Talaq bill, which is now delayed and blocked by the opposition parties in the lower house.
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The Election Commission will also hold bye-elections to the Council of States from Kerala, as its MP Veerendra Kumar resigned from the Rajya Sabha in December.
"Adequate measures for close monitoring of the election process by appointing observers will be taken to ensure free and fair election", the EC added. Six MPs each would have to be chosen from Bihar and Maharashtra, five MPs each from West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh and four MPs each from Karnataka and Gujarat would be elected during the polls to be held in respective State capitals on 23rd March.
Telangana, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan also have vacancies of three seats each.
The results will increase the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) tally in the Rajya Sabha.