Election of Rajya Sabha Members

Rajya Sabha the upper house of the parliament is the council of states. The features of the process of the election of members to Rajya Sabha are

  • The members of the Rajya Sabha are indirectly elected by the elected representatives of states and Union Territories.
  • The allocation of seats for Rajya Sabha is made on the basis of the population of each state.
  • The election follows rank based voting of system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote which basically means that the single vote cast by an MLA is transferable from one candidate to another in two scenarios.
    • when a candidate obtains more than what is required for their win and therefore has an unnecessary surplus
    • When a candidate polls so few votes that they have absolutely no chance.

In both the cases, the votes are transferred so that there is no wastage.

  • To win a Rajya Sabha seat, a candidate should get a required number of votes which is known as quota or preference vote.
  • The formula for calculating the quota is

[Total number of votes/(Number of Rajya Sabha seats + 1)] + 1.

  • There are certain conditions when a ballot paper is deemed invalid. These include figure 1 not being marked or if figure 1 is assigned to the names of more than one candidate or is placed in a confusing manner. Other reasons include assigning two figures to one candidate or if there is any mark or writing by which the elector can be identified.

The differential representation of the states in the rajyasabha which is based on the legislative strength/population of the state is often referred as non-federal feature of the Indian constitution. Of-late Rajya Sabha has become a disruptive house rather than a delaying house. As a result calls are being made to analyse the relevance of Rajya Sabha in 21st century India. [Indian Express]