Our Constitution has laid down the maximum strength of Rajyasabha as 250 under Article 80. In this, 238 can be representatives of States & 2 UTs namely NCT of Delhi and Puducherry and Rest 12 can be nominated Members.
The present strength of Rajya Sabha, however, is 245, out of which 233 are representatives of the States and UTs of Delhi & Puducherry and 12 are nominated by the President.
Table 1 – Total Number of Seats in Rajya Sabha State-wise and Strength as on Date
As on Date, Uttar Pradesh, followed by Maharashtra has the maximum Representation as The Fourth Schedule to the Constitution provides for the allocation of seats to the States and UTs on the basis of the population of each State.
Presently, there are 239 members who are representatives of the States and 2 UTs. At a glance, we can see that BJP has maximum strength in Rajya Sabha as on Date followed by Chief opposition party Congress.
SP, AIADMK and TMC – all 3 Regional Parties have double-digit Representatives right now in Rajya Sabha and in Total, 31 Political Parties have a presence in Rajya Sabha.
Table 2 – Present Strength of Various Political Parties in Rajya Sabha
As we have discussed Representatives of the States and UTs, there can be 12 nominated members in Rajya Sabha who are nominated by the President and these persons are having special knowledge or practical experience in various professions and services like Art, Literature, Science and Social Service.
Here is the list of Nominated Members of Rajya Sabha (3 are bound to retire in April and 1 in June, this year)
Table 3 – List of Nominated Members along with Date of Appointment and Retirement
Looking over the Table (1), we can see that There are 239 sitting Members from States and 12 Nominated Members in Rajyasabha right now. So, there are 6 seats are vacant in 5 states – UP (1), Bihar (2), Bengal(1), Rajasthan (1) and Telangana (1).
Table 4 – List of Vacant Seats in Rajya Sabha as on Date
We can see that there were 7 seats vacant in Rajyasabha recently. However, Sh. Hardeep Singh Puri won the election in January for the seat vacated by Sh. Manohar Parrikar (Both BJP), we have 6 vacancies in Rajyasabha right now.
Rajya Sabha is a permanent house and it is not subject to dissolution. However, one-third of Members retire after every second year. There are going to poll for 55 seats in April 2018 this time.
Table 5- List of all vacancies to be filled-in by April 2018.
The Elections are crucial as it will change the various parties’ position and strength in Rajya Sabha (see Table (2) for better understanding).
There is a Possibility of NDA to increase its footprint in Rajya Sabha where it’s main Party BJP has the highest members as on date (54 Representatives of the States & UT and 4 nominated)
Table 6 – Main Constituents of NDA in Rajya Sabha (as on Date)
With the latest win in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, NDA is likely to gain few more seats under her tally whereas Gujarat Performance of UPA will give at least 2 out of 4 Gujarat Seats to Congress. BJP need greater representation in Rajya Sabha so as to pass important national laws which cannot be passed without being cleared by both houses.
The upcoming election in Rajya Sabha will be a good opportunity for NDA to gain more seats as it has the presence in top 4 states which are going for the poll in April 2018. UP where 10 seats (9 as per table 5, 1 as per table 4) BJP has a strong case of winning as high as 8 seats. However, NDA is still far away from touching the magical number of 123 (simple majority) in Rajya Sabha. But will the scenario change? We have to wait until the outcome of these Elections.
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