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Bypoll results: BJP down to 272 but still holds majority in Lok Sabha

By Deepika

The BJP, which retained one seat out of three in the Lok Sabha bypolls has a wafer thin majority now with its effective strength standing at 272 in the 539-member House.

Narendra Modi and Amit Shah

The party's number came down to 271 (excluding speaker), one short of the majority mark, after losing Kairana in UP and and Bhandara-Gondiya in Maharashtra seats to Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) and NCP, respectively.

The BJP's tally had come down to 273 MPs after the earlier by-poll losses including Gorakhpur and Phulpur in Uttar Pradesh, Alwar and Ajmer in Rajasthan, Ratlam in Madhya Pradesh, and Gurdaspur in Punjab. With four vacant seats, three in Karnataka and one in J&K-the halfway mark is now 270.

However, for all practical purposes the BJP's strength is 274 as two nominated members also belong to it. Counting them, the BJP has three members more than the 271 it needs to have a majority in 541-member House.

It was at 282 in 2014, but the numbers have come down after it lost the by-polls at Ajmer and Alwar in Rajasthan, Gorakhpur and Phulpur in Uttar Pradesh, Gurdaspur in Punjab, Ratlam in Madhya Pradesh.

It however won the by-polls at Lakhimpur, Shahdol, Beed, Kandhamal and Vadodara. The BJP would however not be reduced to a minority even if it were to lose the by-elections. It has the support of its allies- Lok Jan Shakti Party, Shiromani Akali Dal and JD(U) which account for 12 seats.

The BJP has also faced trouble from allies recently. The Shiv Sena with 18 seats has been very vocal about their disenchantment with the BJP and Chandrababu Naidu's Telugu Desam Party (TDP), which has 16 Lok Sabha seats, walked out of the NDA earlier this year.

However, the NDA still is comfortably placed on numbers in the lower house.

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