BJP will begin 2018 on a positive note, as a major rejig in the Rajya Sabha following biennial polls will see the saffron party as the single largest in the upper house.

Special Correspondent

Political pundits said the BJP is set to take its tally to at least 67 seats in the 245-member house, while the NDA will have 98 seats.

It’s a jolt for the Congress that may lose nine Rajya Sabha seats, while along with its allies, the number of seats will reduce from 72 to 63.

The ruling party gains will come from the territories it conquered recently or earlier: Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Haryana, Jharkhand and Uttarakhand.

For the Congress, on the decline for the last three years, the tally would have dipped even more had it not been for its recent gains in the Gujarat assembly elections and its strength in Karnataka.

In 2017, the BJP emerged as the largest party in the Rajya Sabha vertook Congress to become the largest political party in the Rajya Sabha, where it now has 58 members against 57 of the main opposition party.

BJP MP Sampatiya Uikey, who was elected to the Upper House following a bypoll in Madhya Pradesh took oath on Thursday.

His election was necessitated by the death of Union Minster, Anil Madhav Dave. This is the first time that the saffron party has become the number one formation in the RS after the Narendra Modi government came to power in May 2014.

The BJP-led NDA, however, is still short of a decisive majority in the house but the joining of JD(U) to the ruling block has further boosted its numbers.