The Rajya Sabha is not only a “House for Second Thought”, but is also a “Guardian of a State’s Rights”. Highlight the relevance of the Rajya Sabha in the Indian democracy.
Indian constitution envisages federal structure with Bicameral legislature. The Parliament in India has two houses- the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha.
A bicameral legislature has more than one advantage which is clearly evident with the important role of Rajya Sabha in our parliamentary construct.
Relevance of the Rajya Sabha (RS):
- Representation of State: an institutional mechanism to protect the interests/powers of the States.
- Wider Representation: to all sections in the society and geographical regions of the country (12 nominated members). Check and Balance: It makes twice discussion of many bills and policies possible thereby ensuring a double check on every matter and avoiding any hasty decision (Constitutional Amendments).
- Permanent House: thereby giving scope of urgent business to be conducted when the Lok Sabha is dissolved and elections due.
- Free from the compulsions of competitive party politics: as it is an indirectly elected body and has no role in the making/unmaking of the Government.
- Guardian of State: RS authorizes the Parliament to make a law on state subject (Article 249).
Despite the important role played by Rajya Sabha, the question on its utility can be raised due to some trends like:
- Rehabilitation House: It has become a backdoor for many parties to get their members elected.
- Misrepresentation of State: After Kuldip Nayar judgement it has been increasingly observed, MPs who are representing a State to which they do not belong.
With the completion of 250th Session of Rajya Sabha it becomes imperative to gauge issues taking inroads into it and take necessary measures to address them.