At least 59 Rajya Sabha members -- including former prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh and Bharatiya Janata Party national president J P Nadda -- will retire by the first week of April 2024.
Their retirement and the results of the current assembly elections will have a bearing on the numbers that parties will command in the Upper House during the tenure of the next Lok Sabha.
Currently, the BJP has 94 MPs, including five nominated members. The Congress has 30 in a House of 239 with six vacancies. Four vacancies are from Jammu and Kashmir, and two are in the nominated category.
While the BJP has inched towards the halfway mark in the Rajya Sabha on the back of its electoral successes in states over the last nine years, it is yet to attain a simple majority in the House of Elders, having to rely on allies and other friendly parties for the passage of key Bills.
The BJP holds 28 of the 59 seats. Of the 59 seats, a dozen will fall vacant in election-bound Telangana (3), Rajasthan (3), Madhya Pradesh (5) and Chhattisgarh (1).
Ten MPs will retire from Uttar Pradesh, six each from Maharashtra and Bihar, five from West Bengal, four from Karnataka and Gujarat, and three from Odisha and Andhra Pradesh.
Three MPs -- one each from Haryana, Uttarakhand, and Himachal Pradesh -- will retire by April 2024, and three seats from Delhi will fall vacant in January.
The BJP has nine of the 10 Rajya Sabha seats that will fall vacant in UP, thanks to its massive win in the 2017 assembly polls. However, for the Rajya Sabha elections, the results of the 2022 assembly polls in that state, where the Samajwadi Party improved its tally from 47 in 2017 to 111, could lead to the BJP losing a few seats.
Of Gujarat's four seats, which the BJP and Congress currently share equally, the former could gain owing to its historic win in the December 2022 polls in the state. But the Congress could gain the Himachal Pradesh seat, which Nadda represents, from the BJP as it won the state in November 2022.
Of the four seats in Karnataka, where the Congress secured a big win in May, the party currently holds three and the BJP one, a scenario that is unlikely to change.
Of Madhya Pradesh's five, the BJP currently has four. Of Telangana's three, the ruling Bharat Rashtra Samithi holds all of them. In Rajasthan, the BJP has two, and the Congress has one, a seat held by Dr Manmohan Singh.
A BJP MP holds the Chhattisgarh seat and will end his term in April. Of Maharashtra's six, the BJP holds three, and in Bihar it has one of the six.
Of Odisha's three, the Biju Janata Dal holds two, and the BJP, that of Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, has one. In 2019, the BJD had supported Vaishnaw's candidature.
Of Bengal's six, the BJP currently has none.
In Andhra, the BJP holds one of three seats set to fall vacant, thanks to a Telugu Desam Party member crossing over to its side.
The BJP could gain a seat in Bihar and Bengal and two in Gujarat but is also likely to drop seats in UP, Andhra and Himachal, which is why the results of the current assembly polls in the Hindi heartland states are crucial for it to maintain its tally in the Rajya Sabha.
- 59 Rajya Sabha seats will fall vacant by April 3, 2024.
- Of the BJP's 94 Rajya Sabha MPs, 28 set to retire.
- Of Congress's 30 Rajya Sabha MPs, 10 will retire.
- Of the 59 retiring Rajya Sabha MPs, 12 are from poll-going states of Telangana, MP, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. Of these the BJP has 7, the BRS 3 and Congress 2.