It looks like the Rajya Sabha has become the new battlefield for the ruling and opposition parties as opposed to the Lok Sabha, which used to host these political fights in the past. This can be attributed to the fact that while the BJP led NDA government enjoys majority in the Lok Sabha against the opposition Congress party, the situation is exactly the opposite in the Rajya Sabha with 69 Congress members as opposed to 42 lawmakers in BJP. This majority in the Upper House has enabled the Congress to show stiff opposition to the government via its veteran leaders who occupy these seats.
Veteran leader Ghulam Nabi Azad leads the opposition Congress party in the Upper House, while Mallikaarjun Kharge handles the Lower House. Satyavrat Chaturvedi who is a Congress chief reveals that the party would focus on uniting non-NDA parties for support on various issues, citing that numbers would also count to an extent.
The Lok Sabha bore the brunt of many a fight between the Government and the opposition parties in the past when lawmakers who were directly elected by voters had to depend on their leaders to back them on several policy and political issues.
Let us take an example here to understand the issue better. Previously, the Lok Sabha had 116 BJP members that used to oppose the Congress led UPA Government on various frauds, including the ones related to the 2010 Commonwealth Games as well as the allocation of coal minds and telecom spectrum.
Fast forward to 2010, the Congress lost out in the Lok Sabha elections to BJP. However, it maintained its stronghold in the Rajya Sabha and so, decided to flaunt its power in the Upper House.
So while Home Minister Ranjath Singh has been responding to criticism from the opposition pertaining to the UPSC test row, the government still is in tenterhooks about taking a mutual decision pertaining to the Gaza Strip.
The government has also been facing a tough time trying to convince the united opposition parties on other fronts like price rises and foreign equity. In the case of the latter, the opposition parties are planning to pass a bill detailing the increase the nation’s foreign equity to 49%, to a specific committee for cross reference instead of passing it in a hurry.
The BJP may have won the Lok Sabha elections. However, it is still facing a battle of sorts in the Rajya Sabha where it needs to deal with the majority Congress opposition as well as other opposition parties. With the opposition set to toughen its journey, the BJP led NDA government has its work cut out for it.