Since India has given BJP a clear cut majority both in centre and in many states, we will be expecting that BJP can pass any bill it wants. But the reality is not that simple. Rajya Sabha’s election process ensures that this will not happen easily. Rajya Sabha MPs have a life time of 6 years, with every one third retiring every two years. They are elected by the MLAs of a state based on the quota for that state. Realistically speaking, the process should work fine. But, the reality is something completely different. Take for example, Delhi. AAP has got a thumping majority and should hold all the Rajya Sabha seats. But, because those MPs elected during Congress tenure are still having time to serve, we are seeing the curious case where a party which doesn’t have any decent representation in any state in India posesses disproportionately high number of seats in Rajya Sabha. These MPs are from the opposition party in the state. Hence, they won’t even work for their state. And if, it turns out that that party has got an overwhelming majority in Rajya Sabha but is in opposition, the scenario is that no bill will be passed in the Parliament, even if the party is rejected in both the Centre and the states. This is the situation we are looking today – Congress is neither a major power in states, nor in the centre, but has sufficient numbers to block every bill which BJP forces through in the Rajya Sabha. There are only four solutions to circumvent this problem –
1. Scrap off Rajya Sabha altogether. It doesn’t make any sense paying for people who oppose the interests of both the centre and the states they are elected from. That is besides the fact that people who lost in Lok Sabha or who are not interested in standing an election take Rajya Sabha as a back door entry into governance.
2. Remove political representation in Rajya Sabha and let it have only nominated members of excellence. They will act as guardians of Lok Sabha but they will not represent any states.
3. Rajya Sabha membership should terminate parallel to state elections. Once a new government is formed, elections should be held for members of Rajya Sabha.
4. Convene a joint session of the Parliament and overwhelm Rajya Sabha numbers using the brute force majority in Lok Sabha. This is legally correct but morally wrong.
The below table gives the real picture as it stands today. Red indicates the loser parties and blue indicates those having more than their quota. Eligibility is calculated based on the current strength in assemblies. Those which have a marginal difference is not a problem, but the real problem comes where the number is very high –
BJP – lost 19
Congress – gained 17
Independents – gained 7
YSRCP – lost 5
Complete data is attached(Rajya Sabha).