Side effect of assembly poll defeats: Congress' strength weakening in Rajya Sabha

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No end to Congress' cup of woes
There seems to be no end to the Congress' cup of woes, the party has touched an all time low after facing defeats in the assembly polls in Haryana and Maharashatra, where it was in power from over a decade.

With its dwindling numbers in the state assemblies, the grand old party of India is likely to face another crisis as it will affect its numbers in the Rajya Sabha. The party's strength in Rajya Sabha will weaken as it doesn't have the enough numbers in the state assemblies to get its loyalists and strongmen elected to the Upper House of the Parliament.

The Election Commission (EC) on Monday announced polls to 11 Rajya Sabha seats, including 10 from Uttar Pradesh and one from Uttarakhand. Polling on these 11 seats will be held on Nov 20 and results will be declared the same day.

How is a member of Rajya Sabha elected?

Members of Rajya Sabha are elected by the elected members of State Legislative Assemblies in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of single transferable vote. A member of Rajya Sabha is elected for a tenure of six years and elections to 1/3 rd of these seats occur every 2 years.

Trouble for Congress

In UP a candidate needs at least 38 votes to get elected to the Upper House of the Parliament, but the Congress has only 28 members in the UP assembly. But, the party has a long list of people contenders like Salman Khurshid, Beni Prasad Verma, Raj Babbar for the post from UP alone.

Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) also has 8 MLAs in the UP assembly but it will also support the Congress only if the former's president Ajit Singh, who is no more a Parliamentarian, is chosen. And Ajit Singh's affinity for New Delhi is known to all. Thus, it is highly unlikely that the former union minister will let this opportunity slip through his hands.

The grand old party of India is likely to face another crisis

While in Uttarakhand, where RS vacancy was created after BJP's Bhagat Singh Koshiyari got elected to the Lok Sabha. The party would wish to send one of its senior leader from the hill state instead of going with a 'local' leader. Hence, it will have to bring an 'outsider' to improve its strength in central politics. But, lobbying in the hill state, among local Congress leaders, to get an RS berth has already begun.

The party will have to quell the demands of senior members, desperately wanting to return to Parliament. Hence, the party is facing a catch 22 situation over whom to choose and whom to ignore.

More trouble in the offing

With the party's poor show in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Haryana assembly elections, the party's number in upcoming polls will dwindle further. The party won't be able to send its fair enough members in the Rajya Sabha from these states.

The party is facing a similar difficulty in poll bound Jammu and Kashmir, where it is staring at another loss. In such a scenario the party won't be able to send a member in the Upper House from this state as well. And same is the case with poll bound Jharkhand. If the Modi-wave sweeps through these states as well then the party would be reduced to just five states where it is in power.

A reduced majority in the Rajya Sabha would deprive the party of registering its opposition against the ruling BJP.

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