Most of us know how elections are conducted in Lok Sabha. But how is a candidate elected to Rajya Sabha? What is the election procedure of the upper house, Rajya Sabha, also known as the Council of States? Procedure for Rajya sabha elections are more complex when compared to Loksabha elections.
A single directly elected House was considered inadequate to meet the challenges before free India by the Constituent Assembly. A second chamber, known as the ‘Council of States’, therefore, was created with altogether different composition and method of election from that of the directly elected House of the People. It was meant to be the federal chamber i.e., a House elected by the elected members of Assemblies of the States and two Union Territories in which States were not given equal representation (unlike many other federal countries). Apart from the elected members, provision was also made for the nomination of twelve members to the House by the President.
Article 80 of the Constitution lays down the maximum strength of Rajya Sabha as 250, out of which 12 members are nominated by the President and 238 are representatives of the States and of the two Union Territories. The present strength of Rajya Sabha, however, is 245, out of which 233 are representatives of the States and Union territories of Delhi and Puducherry and 12 are nominated by the President. The members nominated by the President are persons having special knowledge or practical experience in respect of such matters as literature, science, art and social service.
The Fourth Schedule to the Constitution provides for the allocation of seats to the States and Union Territories in Rajya Sabha. The allocation of seats is made on the basis of the population of each State. Consequent on the reorganization of States and formation of new States, the number of elected seats in the Rajya Sabha allotted to States and Union Territories has changed from time to time since 1952.