New Delhi, Mar 23 (PTI) The BJP is set to consolidate its position as the largest party in the Rajya Sabha as the results of biennial elections to 58 seats in the House have widened the gap between it and the Congress, even though a majority will continue to elude the ruling NDA.

The BJP has won 18 seats and the Congress 9 with results of the 10 Uttar Pradesh and two Jharkhand seats yet to be announced. The saffron party’s strong majority in the UP assembly will result in its win in at least eight seats and it is banking on support of independents and rebels to clinch a ninth seat.

The BJP currently has 58 members in the Rajya Sabha followed by 54 of the Congress.

Among the 58 outgoing parliamentarians, 17 are from the BJP and 14 from the Congress. As many as 16 and five members of the BJP and the Congress were declared elected uncontested out of a total 33 on March 15, the last day of withdrawal of candidates.

The BJP will gain 10-11 seats, depending on the final outcome of the Uttar Pradesh elections.

The total strength of the Rajya Sabha is 245.

However, the BJP-led NDA’s chances of inching towards a majority have suffered a setback with the TDP, which has six members, walking out of it.

Ruling alliance sources, however, are of the view that a fall in Congress’ numbers, which may come down to 50, and other vocal opposition parties like the Samajwadi Party will help their agenda in the Upper House.

Parties like AIADMK, TRS and YSR Congress, which will have a combined strength of about 21 after new members take oath, have often supported the government’s legislative agenda in the Rajya Sabha.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.