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New Delhi, 22 February: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has come very close to the majority figure in the upper house (Rajya Sabha) after winning the by-elections in two seats from Gujarat and one seat for the Rajya Sabha from Assam.
The strength of the BJP and its National Democratic Alliance (NDA) allies now stands at 114 in the 245-member Rajya Sabha. It also includes nominated members of the House.
Both BJP candidates were elected unopposed in the by-elections for two Rajya Sabha seats from Gujarat.
These seats were vacant in the state due to the demise of Ahmed Patel of Congress and Abhay Bhardwaj of BJP.
Meanwhile, Rambhai Mokaria and Dinesh Prajapati have been elected from BJP in the by-elections for these seats.
The Congress did not field its candidates in this by-election and the election of BJP candidates was announced at the end of the date of withdrawal of nomination papers on Monday.
On the other hand, BJP’s Biswajit Daimary has also been elected in the by-elections in Assam.
The Narendra Modi government at the Centre has been struggling with the problem of lack of majority in the Rajya Sabha.
Despite the overwhelming majority in the Lok Sabha, the ruling coalition has often suffered from difficulties in getting important bills passed by the Upper House.
The government had declared several bills as money bills and tried to overcome the problem of not having majority in Rajya Sabha. Opposition members have been opposing the introduction of the bills as money bills.
Recently, the ruling NDA has lost two of its allies, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP). The Upper House has three SAD members and one member of the AGP.
A description of the problem caused by the lack of majority of the Modi government in the Rajya Sabha comes from the recently published autobiography of former Chairman Hamid Ansari.
According to Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had told him that he was not getting the requisite cooperation in passing the Bills in the House.