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5-March-2024-Special-Article

March 5 @ 7:00 am - 11:30 pm

RAJYA SABHA ELECTIONS 2024

Rajya Sabha elections, held indirectly by elected members of state Legislative Assemblies, play a crucial role in India’s parliamentary system. Recent instances of crossvoting have sparked concerns regarding the integrity of the electoral process.

How are Rajya Sabha Elections Conducted?

  • Governed by Article 80 of the Constitution, representatives to the Rajya Sabha are elected indirectly by elected members of State Legislative Assemblies.
  • Polls are conducted if the number of candidates exceeds the vacancies.
  • Historically, candidates from parties with majority often won unopposed until cross-voting incidents in 1998.

Amendment to Representation of the People Act, 1951:

  • Amendment in 2003 mandated open ballot voting in Rajya Sabha elections to curb crossvoting.
  • Section 59 of the Act stipulates the voting process, requiring MLAs to show their ballot paper to the authorized party agent.
  • Independent MLAs are barred from showing ballots to anyone.

Process of Election in Rajya Sabha:

  • Rajya Sabha has 250 members, including those nominated by the President.
  • Members are elected through proportional representation by means of Single Transferable Vote (STV).
  • Quotas are calculated based on the total valid votes and the number of available seats.
  • Preferences are ranked, and surplus votes are transferred to next choices until candidates meet the quota.
  • Elimination of candidates with fewer votes continues until all seats are filled.

Legal Precedents:

  • Shailesh Manubhai Parmar v Election Commission of India Case (2018): Denied NOTA option in Rajya Sabha elections due to constitutional provisions.
  • JMM bribery case (1998): Legislators who take bribes to vote or speak in Parliament are not immune from criminal prosecution.

Does Anti-Defection Law Apply?

  • Tenth Schedule of the Constitution contains provisions related to anti-defection.
  • Clarified by the Election Commission in 2017 that anti-defection law doesn’t apply to Rajya Sabha elections.
  • Members not bound by party whip, allowing independence in voting.

Understanding Cross Voting:

  • Cross voting occurs when legislators vote for candidates from parties other than their own.
  • Reasons include disagreement with party’s candidate selection, inducements, personal relationships, or ideological differences.
  • Negative implications include undermining representation, corruption, and weakening party discipline.
  • Positive implications include independence, checks and balances, and fostering accountability.

Implications of Cross Voting:

Negative:

  • Undermines representation and democratic values.
  • Reflects corruption and weakens party discipline.

Positive:

  • Promotes independence and diversity of viewpoints.
  • Serves as a check on dominant parties and fosters accountability.

Conclusion:

  • Rajya Sabha elections, vital to India’s parliamentary democracy, must uphold integrity and representation.
  • Legal provisions, amendments, and judicial precedents aim to ensure fair elections.
  • While cross-voting poses challenges, it also reflects the diversity and complexity of India’s political landscape.
  • Upholding democratic values, accountability, and transparency remains paramount in ensuring the sanctity of Rajya Sabha elections.

Mains Question:

  1. Recent instances of crossvoting in Rajya Sabha elections have raised concerns about the integrity of the electoral process. Discuss the process of Rajya Sabha elections, legal provisions, and implications of crossvoting in shaping India’s parliamentary democracy. (150 WORDS)

Details

Date:
March 5
Time:
7:00 am - 11:30 pm
Event Category: