HOW RAJYA SABHA MEMBERS ARE ELECTED
Recently updated on August 11th, 2017
India is a country that practices bicameral legislation system as it possesses 2 legislative houses: a top and bottom house. The Parliament of India is the supreme legislative body of India. It comprises of the President of India and the 2 houses (top and bottom houses). The 2 legislative houses are Lok Sabha, which is the bottom house and also referred to as the House of the people and the Rajya Sabha, which is the top house and is referred to as the Council of States. The President of India, who happens to be the head, can summon or prorogue the houses. He can also dissolve the Lok Sabha, upon the advice of the Prime Minister and the Council of States. Irrespective of how a person becomes a member of the parliament, he/she would be regarded as a member of the parliament.
The Rajya Sabha, which is also regarded as the Council of States is the top house of the Indian parliament. Pursuant to the Constitution of India, the maximum number of members that the house can have is 250 members, though the present laws provide for 245 members. The members of the Rajya Sabha sit for a period of 6 years, with 1/3 of the members having to retire every 2 years. The Rajya Sabha holds meetings in sessions for a continuous period of time cannot be dissolved like the Lok Sabha. Though the House cannot be dissolved, it can be summoned and prorogued by the President of India. In terms of legislation, the Rajya Sabha has equal footing with the Lok Sabha. The only area where there is a difference in legislation is area of supply. In this area, the Lok Sabha possesses overriding powers. In a situation whereby there is conflicting legislation between both houses, a joint sitting of both houses would be made. The vice President of India is usually the ex-officio chairman of the house, as he heads the sessions of the house.
To be a member of the Rajya Sabha, members are elected indirectly by state and territorial legislatures via single transferable votes. Furthermore, 12 members can be appointed by the President of India for their contribution to social services, science, literature, and arts.
To qualify to be a member of the Rajya Sabha, one has to be a citizen of India. Different things also make one ineligible to be a member of the Rajya Sabha. They include:
1. Such person holds any office of profit under the Indian Government. The only exception is an office allowed by law by the Indian Parliament
2. Such person is no longer an Indian
3. Such person is an undischarged insolvent
4. Such person is of unsound mind
5. Such person is disqualified on the ground of defection
6. Such person has been convicted for offence of bribery
7. Such person has been convicted for practicing and preaching social crimes like sati, dowry, untouchability etc
8. Such person has been dismissed as a result of being corrupt or being disloyal to the state