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Indian Polity

Election of Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha

  • 08 Aug 2018
  • 3 min read

Rajya Sabha is to elect its new Deputy Chairman. The Deputy Chairman is a constitutional position created under Article 89 of the Constitution, which specifies that Rajya Sabha shall choose one of its MPs to be the Deputy Chairman as often as the position becomes vacant.

  • The Deputy Chairman is elected by the Rajya Sabha itself from amongst its members.
  • Whenever the office of the Deputy Chairman falls vacant, the Rajya Sabha elects another member to fill the vacancy.
  • The Deputy Chairman vacates his office in any of the following three cases:
    • if he ceases to be a member of the Rajya Sabha;
    • if he resigns by writing to the Chairman;
    • if he is removed by a resolution passed by a majority of all the members of the Rajya Sabha. Such a resolution can be moved only after giving 14 days’ advance notice.
  • The Deputy Chairman performs the duties of the Chairman’s office when it is vacant or when the Vice-President acts as President or discharges the functions of the President. He also acts as the Chairman when the latter is absent from the sitting of the House. In both the cases, he has all the powers of the Chairman.
  • The Deputy Chair is the one position that is elected solely by members of Rajya Sabha. The Deputy Chairman also plays a critical role in ensuring the smooth running of the House.
  • The Deputy Chairman is not subordinate to the Chairman. He is directly responsible to the Rajya Sabha.
  • The Deputy Chairman is entitled to a regular salary and allowance which are fixed by Parliament and are charged on the Consolidated Fund of India.

Procedure

  • For electing the Deputy Chair any Rajya Sabha MP can submit a motion proposing the name of a colleague for this constitutional position. The motion has to be seconded by another MP.
  • Additionally, the member moving the motion has to submit a declaration signed by the MP whose name s/he is proposing stating that the MP is willing to serve as the Deputy Chairperson if elected. Each MP is allowed to move or second only one motion.
  • Then the majority of the House decides who gets elected as the Deputy Chairperson.
  • However, if the political parties arrive at a consensus candidate, then that MP will be unanimously elected as the Deputy Chair.
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