Indian Polity & Constitution
In News: The Assemblies of 4 states will elect 16 MPs to Rajya Sabha
- Rajya Sabha, or the Council of States, has 245 seats
- No ruling party has ever touched the 100 mark in the last three-and-a-half decades
- Every Rajya Sabha seat counts as any Bill, barring Money Bills, needs the assent of the second chamber to become law.
How often are Rajya Sabha elections held?
- Rajya Sabha is a permanent House and cannot be dissolved.
- To ensure continuity, one-third of its members retire after every second year, under Article 83(1) of the Constitution, and “biennial elections” are held to fill these vacancies.
- The term of a member is six 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.
Rajya Sabha polls: Who votes, and how?
- Rajya Sabha MPs are elected by MLAs through an indirect election.
- Article 80(4) provides that members shall be elected by the elected members of state Assemblies through a system of proportional representation by means of a single transferable vote.
- The Fourth Schedule to the Constitution provides for allocation of Rajya Sabha seats to the states and Union Territories, on the basis of the population of each state.
How are the votes counted?
- The number of votes a candidate requires depends on the number of vacancies and the strength of the House.
- If there is only one vacancy, the required quota is calculated by taking the number of votes polled, divided it by 2, and adding 1.
- If there is more than one vacancy, the equation is based on an assigned value of 100 for every first-preference vote. The values of the votes credited to all candidates are totalled. The total is divided by 1 more than the number of vacancies, and 1 is added to this quotient.
- If for any seat, candidates fail to get the specified number, the second-preference votes will be taken into account, but with a lower value.
Beyond passing Bills, why do Rajya Sabha numbers matter?
Rajya Sabha enjoys some special powers
- It can pass resolution to enact laws on state subject
- Recommend creation of one or more All India Services common to the Union and the states
- Rajya Sabha has a role to play if the President proclamations national emergency, in the event of failure of constitutional machinery in a State, or in the case of financial emergency. Every such proclamation has to be approved by both Houses of Parliament within a stipulated period
- If a proclamation is issued at a time when Lok Sabha has been dissolved or the dissolution of Lok Sabha takes place within the period allowed for its approval, then the proclamation remains effective, if the resolution approving it is passed by Rajya Sabha within the period specified under Articles 352, 356 and 360 of the Constitution.
Previous Year Questions
Q.1) Rajya Sabha has equal powers with Lok Sabha in (2020)
- the matter of creating new All India Services
- amending the Constitution
- the removal of the government
- making cut motions
Source: Indian Express
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