Changed Rajya Sabha Look After Recent Elections

Recent elections of Rajya Sabha changed the distribution of seats in the house while adding familiar faces to the Upper House of India. It has also brought the NDA near to having majority in the Upper House as well.

Crux of the Matter

Recent Elections
On 19 June, 2020, elections took place for 19 seats out of the 61 vacant ones, with the rest 42 being filled unopposed. BJP won 8 seats, while the Congress secured 4 seats.

BJP has now 83 seats in the Rajya Sabha, while its coalition NDA including JDU, SAD, and other parties now has 100+ seats. The NDA now constitutes ~50% of the total 245 seats in the Upper House of Parliament.

Scindia Defection Pays Off
Jyotiraditya Scindia was among the winners of BJP in Madhya Pradesh. In March 2020, he quit the Congress party and joined BJP. In the process, several of his supporting MLAs defected with him, which resulted in the fall of Congress government in Madhya Pradesh.

About RS
Rajya Sabha is also known as the Upper House of the Parliament. It can have a maximum of 250 members, out of which 12 would be appointed by the President of India. The elected members serve for a tenure of 6 years, and 1/3rd of the total members retire every 2nd year.

Members of the Upper House are elected by the Legislative Representatives of the concerned State or Union Territory. By-elections take place when a vacancy is created before the end of the tenure of the respective seat, with the elected member serving for the remaining term.

  • The Leader of the House is a Rajya Sabha member who is either a cabinet minister or another nominated minister. The Leader has a seat next to the Chairperson of the Rajya Sabha in the front row. Thaawar Chand Gehlot is currently the leader of the upper house of Indian Parliament.
  • Besides the Leader of the House, who is leading the majority, there is also a Leader of the Opposition (LOP) – leading the opposition parties. The function was only recognized in the Salary and Allowances of Leaders of the Opposition in Parliament Act, 1977. This is commonly the leader of the largest non-government party and is recognized by the Chairman.
  • Rajya Sabha Television (RSTV) is a 24×7 parliamentary TV channel owned and operated by the body. The channel aims to provide in-depth coverage and analysis of parliamentary affairs, especially its functioning and policy development. During sessions, RSTV provides live coverage and presents an analysis of the proceedings of the House.