Equality of seat among states in Rajya Sabha

Equality of seat among states in Rajya Sabha

Equality of seats among States in the Rajya Sabha is a principle, which found a great deal of acceptance in the Constituent Assembly. However, it could not be adopted because of the circumstances prevailing at that time. Is there a need to look afresh at this? 

Answer: In India, the allocation of seats to be filled by the representatives of States in the Council of States is done in proportion to the population of State.

  • Constituent Assembly was in favour of equal representation of all states in Rajya Sabha. In spite of that, equal representation was not adopted because at that time the States of Indian Union were not independent entities having pre-existing rights or powers.
  • As Sarkaria Commission pointed out
    • Nine States in India have just one member each in the Rajya Sabha
    • 2/3 majority ( for Constitutional Amendment)  = top 7 states & nominated members.
  • Punchhi Commission also endorsed equality of representation 
  • All the Federal Polities give equal representation to states irrespective of  size and population . Eg US = 2 members per state in Senate .

But the problem is that in the era of coalition politics, the interests of parties take precedence over the interests of the States.

So there are concerns whether even after giving equal representation, the behaviour of representatives of those States in the council will be according to the interests of State and not interests of their party.

Side note : Two special powers with Rajya Sabha

Art 249 Can  authorise Parliament to make laws on subject in State list (2/3 votes)
Art 312 Can authorise Parliament to create new All India Service  (2/3 votes)

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