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Why the new CMs of UP & Goa will not resign from Parliament right now

Charu Kartikeya | Updated on: 22 March 2017, 17:01 IST
(Arya Sharma/Catch News)

By appointing three of its MPs as CMs and a deputy CM, the BJP has ensured bypolls on at least two seats in the Lok Sabha and one in the Rajya Sabha. An equal number of bypolls in respective state assemblies or councils.

However, there are indications that these bypolls are not likely to be held any time soon and the concerned CMs and deputy CM are going to remain MPs till at least July 2017. The reason? Election of the next President of India.

The new chief minister of Goa, Manohar Parrikar, his counterpart in Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath, and deputy CM of UP, Keshav Prasad Maurya are BJP MPs from Uttar Pradesh.

While Parrikar represents the state in the Rajya Sabha, Adityanath and Maurya represent Gorakhpur and Phulpur in the Lok Sabha. If they resign right now, BJP will risk losing at least 2,000 votes in the Presidential polls. President Pranab Mukherjee's term will come to an end on 25 July 2017, and the polls will have to be concluded before that date.

The President is elected through a complex system of proportional representation, the formula for which is laid out in Article 55 of the Constitution. The votes are cast by an electoral college consisting of the elected members of both Houses of the Parliament, the elected members of the Legislative Assemblies of all states as well as the Union Territories of Delhi and Puducherry. As of 2017, the electoral college comprises of 776 MPs and 4,120 MLAs.

The total strength of the electoral college is a little short of 11 lakh votes and the halfway mark is about 5.5 lakh votes. After the latest round of Assembly elections, NDA is short of approximately 25 thousand votes.

As of 2012, when the last Presidential elections were held, every MP had 708 votes. By this formula, if Parrikar, Adityanath and Maurya resign, a total of 2,124 votes will be at stake, which is a big number for the BJP to be concerned about, given the NDA's shortfall.

Even within the NDA, there is uncertainty in the camp over which way the Shiv Sena would go in the polls. The party has over 23,000 votes in the electoral college and can put the NDA in a spot if it decides to rebel and support the Opposition's candidate. It has already done so in the past, supporting Congress's candidates Pratibha Patil in 2007 and Pranab Mukherjee in 2012.

If the Sena deserts the NDA camp once again, the BJP will be dependent upon either BJD or AIADMK or both.

In this melee, every seat counts for the BJP and since the Constitution allows Adityanath, Maurya and Parrikar to take up to six months to get themselves elected to their respective state legislatures, this is a risk that BJP may not be willing to take.

First published: 22 March 2017, 17:01 IST
 
Charu Kartikeya @CharuKeya

Assistant Editor at Catch, Charu enjoys covering politics and uncovering politicians. Of nine years in journalism, he spent six happily covering Parliament and parliamentarians at Lok Sabha TV and the other three as news anchor at Doordarshan News. A Royal Enfield enthusiast, he dreams of having enough time to roar away towards Ladakh, but for the moment the only miles he's covering are the 20-km stretch between home and work.

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