Rajya Sabha Elections

IAS Current affairs - Rajya Sabha Elections

Rajya Sabha Elections

Context:

  • In the coming days the Assemblies of 4 states will elect 16 MPs to Rajya Sabha.
  • The election has grabbed the attention of the people due to the  importance parties give to seats in the Upper House.

Why is it so important?

  • Every Rajya Sabha seat counts for both the ruling party and the opposition, as any Bill, with the exception of those classified as Money Bills by the Lok Sabha Speaker, need the consent of the second chamber to become law.
  • The Rajya Sabha, or Council of States, is made up of 245 members. To attain the simple majority of 123 has been impossible, no ruling party has ever surpassed 100 seats in the last three and a half decades.
  • Rajya Sabha has a limited role in the case of Money Bills. It cannot amend a Money Bill, but can recommend amendments within a stipulated time, and Lok Sabha may either accept or reject all or any of these.

 

About the elections:

  • The Article 83(1) of the Indian Constitution states that “The council of States shall not be subject to dissolution, but as nearly as possible one third of the members thereof shall retire as soon as may be on the expiration of every second year in accordance with the provisions made in that behalf by Parliament by law”
  • Therefore, biennial elections are held to fill those vacancies who vacate for every two years.
  • Out of the 245 members, 12 are nominated by the President and 233 are representatives of the States and Union territories of Delhi and Puducherry.
  • When there are vacancies arising due to death or resignation of a member, bypolls will be held and he will serve for the term remaining of the predecessor.
The Tenth Schedule:
  • Regarding the nominated members the law specifies that within six months of being nominated to the House, they can choose to join a political party.
  • The time is given so that if a nominated MP is not a member of a political party, they can decide to join one if they want.
  • But if they don’t join a political party during the first six months of their tenure, and join a party thereafter, then they lose their seat in Parliament.

Source The Hindu