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  • 26 June, 2020

  • 2 Min Read

Rajya Sabha Polls

Rajya Sabha Polls

Rajya Sabha is a permanent House and is not subject to dissolution. However, one-third Members of Rajya Sabha retire after every second year (biennial). A member who is elected for a full term serves for a period of six years.

The election held to fill a vacancy arising otherwise than by retirement of a member on the expiration of his term of office is called ‘Bye-election’. A member elected in a bye-election remains a member for the remainder of the term of the member who has resigned or died or disqualified to be member of the House under the Tenth Schedule. (PT)

Methods of Voting in RS Polls

  • Single Transferable vote - In this method, a voter instead of voting for a single candidate, ranks all candidates according to his preference. Voting only takes place when there are more candidates than the vacant seats. The method would lead to the election of candidates opposed to the majority party in a state.
  • Cross voting - During late nineties, MLAs were regularly convinced to vote against their party’s candidate (cross-vote). The Supreme Court in 2006 held that the practice of cross-voting would not attract the penalty under the anti-defection law, which further promoted the practice of cross-voting.
  • Open Ballot - To stem the Cross voting rot, a Rajya Sabha committee headed by S B Chavan(1999) mooted the idea of voting by open ballots in the elections to the upper house. Parliament passed a law in 2003 requiring MLAs to show their votes to their party before voting in a Rajya Sabha election. But neither did the law stop the MLAs from cross-voting, nor could it prevent the influence of big money. The open ballot provides legal and technical grounds for invalidating votes.
  • Postal Ballot - In rare circumstances RS polling can be done by postal ballots subject to the condition that a notification under Rule 68 of 1961 rules (Conduct of Election Rules 1961) is made before the last date of withdrawal of nominations.

Source: Laxmikant

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