FPJ Explains: How are Rajya Sabha elections held?

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Thursday, June 09, 2022, 02:39 PM IST
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The Rajya Sabha elections are set to take place on June 10 for 57 seats that will fall vacant after the retirement of members between June and August.

Forty-one candidates were elected unopposed to the Rajya Sabha from 11 states on Friday at the close of nominations.

Among the prominent winners were former Congress leader Kapil Sibal, Rashtriya Lok Dal chief Jayant Choudhary and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram.

With this, Haryana, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Karnataka are set to witness a thriller as none of the candidates withdrew their candidatures.

The polling is to take place on June 10 for the remaining 16 seats.

Who is eligible to vote?

The Rajya Sabha has an indirect election with only elected members of state legislative assemblies taking part in the voting process.

Voting is done by single transferable vote, as the election is held on the principle of proportional representation.

This means that a bloc of MPs belonging to one or more parties can elect a member of their choice if they have the required numbers.

What is the voting process?

The polling process for a Rajya Sabha election will only be initiated if the number of candidates exceeds the number of vacancies.

As the Assembly strength of each party is already known, it is relatively simple to predict the number of seats that a party will win.

For instance, if there are four seats to be filled up, and the ruling party and its allies have a two-thirds majority, and the Opposition a third, it will mean that the election the ruling party will secure three seats while the opposition will secure one.

The principal of single transferable vote means electors can vote for any number of candidates in order of their preference.

A candidate requires a specified number of first preference votes to win, which depends on the number of voters.

Each first choice vote has a value of 100 in the first round and the candidate needs to secure one point more than the quotient obtained by dividing the total number of MLAs voting by the number of seats being contested plus one.

For instance, if there are four seats and 150 MLAs voting, the qualifying number will be 150/ 5= 30 votes or a value of 3,000.

If more than one candidate fails to get the specified number, the process might enter the second round.

After a member is selected, the surplus votes in his /her list will be transferred to the subsequent member’s kitty following the preference list order, but with a diminished value.

The winner will be decided on basis of the total value of the votes polled by the remaining candidates both as first and subsequent preferences.

Unlike the Lok Sabha polls, the voting is carried out through an open ballot system. Moreover, there is no NOTA option.

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