In what could be a major boost to the treasury benches in the House of Elders, BJP president Amit Shah is set to enter the Rajya Sabha after Tuesday’s polling for three seats from Gujarat and six from West Bengal.
This will be the first stint as a parliamentarian for the five-time MLA from Gujarat, who was seen as the key strategist for BJP’s string of successes since the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, after which the party formed India’s first majority government in nearly 30 years.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had dubbed Shah the “man of the match” soon after the win. Shah has clarified that even after becoming an MP, he will continue to be at the helm of the party and that there was no question of him joining the Union Cabinet, which is likely to be expanded shortly to fill up the vacant slots.
Party sources said Shah’s presence in Parliament would be a morale booster for BJP members. Only recently, BJP became the single largest party in the Rajya Sabha, where the opposition has so far been able to dictate terms as the ruling party lacked the numbers.
The opposition got certain amendments in the National Commission for Backward Classes Bill passed while the bill to amend the Motor Vehicle Act was referred to the select committee.
Party sources said Shah’s presence in the House would have an impact on other members. Shah makes his parliamentary debut at a time when M Venkaiah Naiduis set to take over as chairman of the upper House as the vice president-elect.