After a 15-year hiatus, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), on the back of aggressive campaigning by prime minister Narendra Modi, swept its way to power in Uttar Pradesh (UP). The mammoth victory set off unprecedented celebrations not just at the party’s office in Lucknow, but across the capital as well. Besides UP, the victories in Uttarakhand and Manipur are being seen as a referendum to Modi’s nearly 3-year-old rule, also marked by heavy criticism following the sudden demonetisation move in November 2016. The BJP won 325 seats in the 400-plus UP assembly and, in doing so, has also ensured that it gets its way through the Upper House (Rajya Sabha) of Parliament. Despite having a majority in the Lower House (Lok Sabha), the Modi government doesn’t have the requisite strength in the RS where it needs a majority to push through several key reform bills. The Congress, currently, has the upper hand with 59 seats against 56 for the BJP. But the gains for Modi are not going reflect immediately as UP is scheduled to have its biennial election for the RS only in April 2018, when 10 members from the state step down.
The victory in Uttar Pradesh has given the BJP an edge in the Upper House of Parliament
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