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Indian Polity

Elections of Rajya Sabha

  • 26 Jun 2019
  • 3 min read

The Election Commission has announced election dates for six Rajya Sabha seats of Tamil Nadu.

  • The Rajya Sabha or the Upper House of Parliament is modelled after the House of Lords in the United Kingdom.
  • Composition of the house: Article 80 of the Constitution have provisions for members of the Rajya Sabha. Currently, it has 245 members, including 233 elected members and 12 nominated. As per the constitutional limit, the Upper House strength cannot exceed 250.
    • The number of Rajya Sabha members a state can send depends on its population. Hence, the number of elected seat changes as states are merged, bifurcated or new ones are created.
    • Nominated members of the Rajya Sabha are nominated by the President of India in the field of art, literature, science and social service.
  • The Vice-President is the ex-officio chairperson of the Rajya Sabha.
    • The Deputy Chairman, who is elected from amongst the house's members, takes care of the day-to-day matters of the house in the absence of the Chairman.
  • Tenure of members: Every Rajya Sabha MP has a tenure of six years and elections to one-third seats are held every two years.
    • According to Section 154 of the Representation of the People Act 1951, a member has chosen to fill a casual vacancy will serve for the remainder of his predecessor's term of office.
  • Permanent house: The Rajya Sabha meets in continuous sessions, and unlike the Lok Sabha, is not subjected to dissolution. However, the Rajya Sabha, like the Lok Sabha can be prorogued by the President
  • Process of election: Rajya Sabha members are elected indirectly by the people, that is, by the MLAs.
    • Members of a state's Legislative Assembly vote in the Rajya Sabha elections in proportional representation with the single transferable vote (STV) system. Each MLA’s vote is counted only once.
    • To win a Rajya Sabha seat, a candidate should get a required number of votes. That number is found out using the below formula. Required vote = Total number of votes / (Number of Rajya Sabha seats + 1 ) + 1.
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