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ECI Defers Rajaya Sabha Poll in View of COVID-19

Why in news?

Election Commission of India announced elections to the Council of States to fill 55 seats of Members from 17 States, retiring in the month of April,2020 will be deferred due to COVID-19 pandemic.

From where ECI gets this power?

  • Section 153 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 specifies that the Election Commission for reasons which it considers sufficient, may extend the time for the completion of any election
  • Article 324 of Indian Constitution

Background:

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.

Composition of the Rajya Sabha: 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.

Tenure of members: Every Rajya Sabha MP has a tenure of six years and elections to one-third seats are held every two years.

Note: Tenure of Rajya Sabha members is given under Representation of the People Act 1951, not in Indian constitution

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September 2022
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