Rajya Sabha Election: The polling for 25 seats in six states has begun and results are scheduled to be out by this evening. A total of 58 Rajya Sabha seats in 16 states are to fall vacant in April. Among today’s polls, Uttar Pradesh is crucial as 10 seats are up for grabs. BJP is in a strong position to bag 8 seats and fighting for the ninth one.
Out of these 58 seats, 33 candidates have already been elected unopposed on March 15 from 10 states. Seven Union Ministers were among the candidates who have already won.
As the polling continues, one of the frequently asked questions is how Rajya Sabha members are elected. Rajya Sabha election process is a complex one and as not as simple as Lok Sabha polls. Let’s take a look at the arithmetic and process that goes into the election and nomination.
Rajya Sabha has a strength of 245. Out of these 245 seats, 233 are representatives of the States and Union territories of Delhi and Puducherry. Apart from these 233 members, President of India nominates 12 MPs. Elected legislators of the state assemblies and members of Electoral College of a Union Territory select a Rajya Sabha MP.
Meanwhile, electoral college comprises members of the Legislative Assembly of the respective Union Territory. If we simplify the voting process, the voting formula is [(Number of MLAs X 100) / (Vacancies + 1)] + 1.
In Uttar Pradesh, vacant seats are 10. BJP and its allies have 324 MLAs in the 403-member Assembly. In accordance with the Rajya Sabha election process arithmetic, to secure a win, a candidate needs 37 first preference votes. BJP can easily win eight of the 10 seats and there will be 28 extra votes in its kitty.
The full term services of a member are six years. However, one-third MPs of the Upper House retire after every second year. To fill this vacancy a ‘Bye-election’ is held. Unlike Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha cannot be dissolved.