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Rajya Sabha should be abolished to reduce corruption.
Satbir Singh Bedi | 19 Aug 2013

The origin of Rajya Sabha can be traced back to 1919
when in pursuance to the Government of India Act,
1919, a second chamber known as the Council of States
was created.  This Council of States comprised of
mostly by nominated members was a deformed version of
second chamber without reflecting true federal
features.  The Council continued to function till
India became independent.  The issue of having a
second chamber was deeply deliberated in the
Constituent Assembly, and finally it was decided to
have a second chamber – the Council of States.  The
Rajya Sabha, its Hindi nomenclature was adopted in 23
August 1954.
 
The Rajya Sabha is to consist of not more than 250
members – 238 members representing the States and
Union Territories and 12 members nominated by the
President.  The seats are allocated to the federating
units on the basis of their population.  Therefore,
the States and Union Territories do not have uniform
number of seats as is the case with many other federal
chambers.  The representatives of each State are
elected by the elected members of the Legislative
Assembly in accordance with the system of proportional
representation by means of single transferable vote. 
The minimum age for membership of the House is 30
years.
 
Rajya Sabha is a permanent body and is not subject to
dissolution.  However, one third of the members retire
every second year and are replaced by newly elected
members. Each member is elected for a term of six
years.  The House was constituted for the first time
on 3 April 1952.  Its membership has changed over the
years and its present membership is 245 as against 216
in 1952.
 
The Vice President of India is ex-officio Chairman of
Rajya Sabha.  The House also elects a Deputy Chairman
from among its members.  Besides, there is also a
panel of "Vice Chairmen" in Rajya Sabha.  The senior
most Minister, who is a member of Rajya Sabha, is
appointed by the Prime Minister as Leader of the
House.
 
Rajya Sabha does not have much role to play except
passing legilation which is actually done by Lok Sabha
itself.  Moreover, in respect of money bill, it has
even lesser role to play viz., that of making
recommendations only which the Lok Saba may accept or
may reject.  Only in respect of matters concerning the
States, it has some role to play.
 
They say that politics is the last refuge of a
scoundrel and the Rajya Saba is the last refuge of a
politician who is defeated in Lok Sabha elections like
our  former Home Minister, Shivraj Patil or late Promod Mahajan or that of a politician
without mass base like our Prime Minister.
 
Since Rajya Sabha has nearly one half of the
membership of Lok Saba, it means that one third of
expenditure on Paraliment including on answering
questions in both the Houses of Parliament is incurred
on Rajya Sabha which merely duplicates some of the
work of Lok Saba.  The answers given to questions in
the Lok Saba have to be repeated in the Rajya Sabha
even when the questions are on the same subjects. 
This is just a wastage of Government money.
 
The politicians sitting the Rajya Sabha are just as
corrupt as the politicians sitting in the Lok Sabha. 
Moreover, funds under MPLADS have also to be given to
them.  At least one third of the corruption by the MPs
can be removed if Rajya Sabha is abolished. Therefore,
I would urge upon all the right thinking Indians to
ponder over the matter and press for the abolition of
Rajya Sabha.
(with inputs from the Rajya Sabha Secretariat)