Elections for 57 Rajya Sabha seats across 15 states are slated to be held on June 10 and the results will be announced on the same day. With as many as 41 candidates having already been declared elected unopposed, the contest will now be for 16 seats in four states — Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Haryana and Karnataka.
Unlike Lok Sabha elections, where members are elected directly by the people, the Rajya Sabha MPs are elected indirectly by the people, that is, by the MLAs.
Here’s all you need to know about the process of electing members of Rajya Sabha:
What is Rajya Sabha
The Rajya Sabha or the Upper House of Parliament is modeled after the House of Lords in the United Kingdom. The Rajya Sabha currently has 245 members, including 233 elected members and 12 nominated. As per the constitutional limit, the Upper House strength cannot exceed 250.
While 233 members are elected from states and Union Territories (UTs), President of India nominates the remaining 12 from from the fields of art, literature, science and social services.
Also Read: Rajya Sabha Election 2022 Voting LIVE: Polling for 16 seats in four states today; BJP, Congress to come out of resorts to vote
The Vice-President is the chairperson of the Rajya Sabha, which is the final stop before a bill is sent for presidential assent.
As per the constitution, since the Rajya Sabha is the Council of States, the allocation of seats for Rajya Sabha is made on the basis of the population of each state.
How are Rajya Sabha members elected
Members of the Rajya Sabha are elected through single transferable vote via open ballot. Members of a state’s Legislative Assembly vote in the Rajya Sabha elections in what is called proportional representation with the single transferable vote (STV) system. Each MLA’s vote is counted only once.
The tenure of a Rajya Sabha member is six years. One-third members retire every second year and are replaced by newly chosen members.
Each member serves for a term of six years. In case of death, disqualification or resignation, bypolls are held.
Rajya Sabha voting process, formula
Since MLAs choose members of the Rajya Sabha, one can assume that political parties with a higher strength in the Lok Sabha will send more MPs to the Upper House. However, that is not always the case.
In the voting system, MLAs don’t vote for each seat. If that were the case, then only ruling party candidates would make it through. Instead, the MLAs have to list different candidates in order of their preference.
If a qualifying number of voters choose a candidate as their first choice, he or she is elected. The remaining votes go to the next candidates, but with a lesser value. So, MLAs also vote for candidates from other parties.
The candidate that gets rank 1 from an MLA secures a first preference vote. In order to win, a candidate needs a specific number of such first preference votes. This number depends on the strength of the state Assembly and the number of MPs it sends to Rajya Sabha.
To win, a candidate should get a required number of votes which is known as quota or preference vote. The formula is = [Total number of votes/(Number of Rajya Sabha seats + 1)] + 1.
However, the formula is changed in case more than one seat needs to be filled. The total number of votes required for a candidate in the case is = [(Number of votes x 100) / (Vacancies + 1)] + 1.