26 October, 2020

The Crooked Nib

How our parties leave no scope for LS-RS cooperation

Illustration by Saahil
The Crooked Nib

The Rajya Sabha has been in the news recently, and not just because of the elections fiasco. Some two fortnights ago, it was castigated as the “indirectly elected House” which, it was claimed, was inheren­tly inferior to the “directly elected House”. Attempts to cut the Rajya Sabha to size, if not abolish it altogether, have been made earlier, beginning early in its life. Attempts were made again in 1971, 1972, 1975 and 1981, but again, better sense prevailed and these Bills did not pass muster. The biggest damage to the Rajya Sabha as originally conceived of by the Constituent Assembly was done in 2003, when the Representation of the People Act, 1951, was amended to delete the requirement of “domicile” in the state concerned for getting elected, and to introduce the open ballot system. (At present, it’s limited open ballot—the party representative may see it.) These amendments were challenged in the Supreme Court but the petition was dismissed. The appropriateness of the amendments and the corr­ectness of the judgement is...



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