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Elections to Rajya Sabha

Topics Covered: Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.

Elections to Rajya Sabha

What to study?

For Prelims: Procedure, eligibility and voting.

For Mains: Significance of upper house, criticisms and reforms necessary.

Context: The biennial elections for 55 Rajya Sabha seats will take place on March 26, 2020. The announcement was made by the Election Commission recently.

Rajya Sabha:

The Constitution provides that the Rajya Sabha shall consist of 250 members, of which 12 members shall be nominated by the President from amongst persons having special knowledge or practical experience in respect of such matters as literature, science, art and social service; and not more than 238 representatives of the States and of the Union Territories.

 How are the members elected?

Elections to the Rajya Sabha are indirect.

  1. Members representing States are elected by elected members of legislative assemblies of the States in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote.
  2. Members representing Union Territories are chosen in such manner as Parliament may by law prescribe.

Related facts:

  • The Rajya Sabha is not subject to dissolution; one-third of its members retire every second year.
  • According to Section 154 of the Representation of the People Act 1951, a member chosen to fill a casual vacancy will serve for the remainder of his predecessor’s term of office.
  • Members of a state’s Legislative Assembly vote in the Rajya Sabha elections in what is called proportional representation with the single transferable vote (STV) system. Each MLA’s vote is counted only once.

Sources: pib.