Rajya Sabha
Overview
 
The Rajya Sabha or Council of States is the upper house
Upper house
An upper house, often called a senate, is one of two chambers of a bicameral legislature, the other chamber being the lower house; a legislature composed of only one house is described as unicameral.- Possible specific characteristics :...

 of the Parliament of India
Parliament of India
The Parliament of India is the supreme legislative body in India. Founded in 1919, the Parliament alone possesses legislative supremacy and thereby ultimate power over all political bodies in India. The Parliament of India comprises the President and the two Houses, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha...

. Rajya means "state," and Sabha means "assembly hall" in Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

. Membership is limited to 250 members, 12 of whom are chosen by the President of India
President of India
The President of India is the head of state and first citizen of India, as well as the Supreme Commander of the Indian Armed Forces. President of India is also the formal head of all the three branches of Indian Democracy - Legislature, Executive and Judiciary...

 for their expertise in specific fields of art, literature, science, and social services. These members are known as nominated members. The remainder of the body is elected by the state and territorial
States and territories of India
India is a federal union of states comprising twenty-eight states and seven union territories. The states and territories are further subdivided into districts and so on.-List of states and territories:...

 legislatures.
Encyclopedia
The Rajya Sabha or Council of States is the upper house
Upper house
An upper house, often called a senate, is one of two chambers of a bicameral legislature, the other chamber being the lower house; a legislature composed of only one house is described as unicameral.- Possible specific characteristics :...

 of the Parliament of India
Parliament of India
The Parliament of India is the supreme legislative body in India. Founded in 1919, the Parliament alone possesses legislative supremacy and thereby ultimate power over all political bodies in India. The Parliament of India comprises the President and the two Houses, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha...

. Rajya means "state," and Sabha means "assembly hall" in Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

. Membership is limited to 250 members, 12 of whom are chosen by the President of India
President of India
The President of India is the head of state and first citizen of India, as well as the Supreme Commander of the Indian Armed Forces. President of India is also the formal head of all the three branches of Indian Democracy - Legislature, Executive and Judiciary...

 for their expertise in specific fields of art, literature, science, and social services. These members are known as nominated members. The remainder of the body is elected by the state and territorial
States and territories of India
India is a federal union of states comprising twenty-eight states and seven union territories. The states and territories are further subdivided into districts and so on.-List of states and territories:...

 legislatures. Terms of office are six years, with one third of the members retiring every two years.

The Rajya Sabha meets in continuous sessions and, unlike the Lok Sabha
Lok Sabha
The Lok Sabha or House of the People is the lower house of the Parliament of India. Members of the Lok Sabha are elected by direct election under universal adult suffrage. As of 2009, there have been fifteen Lok Sabhas elected by the people of India...

, is not subject to dissolution. The Rajya Sabha has equal footing in all areas of legislation with Lok Sabha, except in the area of supply
Loss of Supply
Loss of supply occurs where a government in a parliamentary democracy using the Westminster System or a system derived from it is denied a supply of treasury or exchequer funds, by whichever house or houses of parliament or head of state is constitutionally entitled to grant and deny supply. A...

, where the Lok Sabha has overriding powers. In the case of conflicting legislation, a joint sitting of the two houses is held.

However, since the Lok Sabha has twice as many members as the Rajya Sabha, it would normally hold the greater power in such joint sessions. Only three joint sessions have been held; the last one was for the passage of the anti-terror law POTA
POTA
POTA may refer to:*Port of the Americas *Prevention of Terrorist Activities Act*Planet of the Apes *Prevention of Terrorist Act, India...

 in 2002.

The Vice-President of India
Vice-President of India
The Vice-President of India is the second-highest ranking government official in the executive branch of the Government of India, after the President...

 (currently, Hamid Ansari) is the ex-officio Chairman of the Rajya Sabha. The Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha
Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha
The Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha is the vice-presiding officer of the Rajya Sabha, the Upper house of Parliament of India. He acts as the presiding officer in case of leave or absence caused by death or illness of the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, the Vice President of India.The Deputy...

, who is elected from amongst its members, takes care of the day-to-day matters of the house in the absence of the Chairman. The Rajya Sabha held its first sitting on 13 May 1952.

Membership

The Rajya Sabha has at most 250 members, of which 238 are elected indirectly by the legislatures of each state and union territory. . Seats are allotted in proportion to the population of each state or union territory. The other 12 members are nominated by the President of India
President of India
The President of India is the head of state and first citizen of India, as well as the Supreme Commander of the Indian Armed Forces. President of India is also the formal head of all the three branches of Indian Democracy - Legislature, Executive and Judiciary...

.

Membership by party

Members by Party
Source: Election Commission of India (as of 09/06/2011)
Alliances (after 2010 election) Party MPs
United Progressive Alliance
United Progressive Alliance
The United Progressive Alliance is a ruling coalition of center-left political parties heading the government of India. The coalition is led by the Indian National Congress , which is currently the single largest political party in the Lok Sabha...


Seats: 91
Indian National Congress
Indian National Congress
The Indian National Congress is one of the two major political parties in India, the other being the Bharatiya Janata Party. It is the largest and one of the oldest democratic political parties in the world. The party's modern liberal platform is largely considered center-left in the Indian...

71
Nationalist Congress Party
Nationalist Congress Party
The Nationalist Congress Party is a centre to centre left political party primarily based in the state of Maharashtra, India.-Background:...

7
7
All India Trinamool Congress
All India Trinamool Congress
The All India Trinamool Congress is a state political party in West Bengal. Founded in 1 January 1998, the party is led by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Trinamool Congress is currently the second largest member of the ruling United Progressive Alliance coalition...

3
National Conference
Jammu & Kashmir National Conference
The Jammu & Kashmir National Conference is a State political party in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, India. Led at the time of Indian Independence in 1947 by Sheikh Abdullah, it dominated electoral politics in the state for many decades...

2
Bodoland People's Front
Bodoland People's Front
The Bodoland People's Front is a state political party in Assam state in northeatern India. In the general election, 2009 its candidate, Sansuma Khunggur Bwiswmuthiary was elected to the 15th Lok Sabha from Kokrajhar constituency. Biswajit Daimary of this party was elected to the Rajya Sabha in...

1
National Democratic Alliance
National Democratic Alliance (India)
The National Democratic Alliance is a centre-right coalition of political parties in India. At the time of its formation in 1998, it was led by the Bharatiya Janata Party and had thirteen constituent parties. Its convenor is Sharad Yadav, and its honorary chairman is former prime minister Atal...


Seats: 69
Bharatiya Janata Party
Bharatiya Janata Party
The Bharatiya Janata Party ,; translation: Indian People's Party) is one of the two major political parties in India, the other being the Indian National Congress. Established in 1980, it is India's second largest political party in terms of representation in the parliament...

51
Janata Dal (United)
Janata Dal (United)
Janata Dal is a political party in India with political presence mainly in Bihar and Jharkhand. Janta Dal party mentor and patron is "Veteran Socialist leader" George Fernandes; George Fernandes broke away from the erstwhile Janata Dal and formed the Samata Party in 1994. Presently it is led...

7
Shiv Sena
Shiv Sena
Shiv Sena , is a political party in India founded on 19 June 1966 by Balasaheb Thackeray. It is currently headed by Thackeray's son, Uddhav Thackeray...

4
Shiromani Akali Dal
Shiromani Akali Dal
The Shiromani Akali Dal , translation: Supreme Akali Party) is a Sikh nationalist political parties based in Punjab. The current party to be recognized by the Election Commission of India is the one led by Parkash Singh Badal...

3
Asom Gana Parishad
Asom Gana Parishad
Asom Gana Parishad is a state political party in Assam, India. The AGP was formed after the historic Assam Accord of 1985 when Prafulla Kumar Mahanta was elected as the youngest chief minister of the country...

2
Rashtriya Lok Dal
Rashtriya Lok Dal
Rashtriya Lok Dal is a political party in India. Ajit Singh is the party president. He is carrying on the political legacy of Charan Singh and the original Lok Dal..Ch. Charan Singh was a great farmer leader and was a former Prime Minister of India...

1
Indian National Lok Dal
Indian National Lok Dal
Indian National Lok Dal, a political party in India, based in the state of Haryana is the principal opposition party in Haryana. The party president is Om Prakash Chautala. Ajay Singh Chautala is its Secretary General. The party was a member of the National Democratic Alliance , and thus part of...

1
Third Front
United National Progressive Alliance
Sometimes known as the Third Front. For the Third Front in power between 1996 and 1998, see United Front . For the Third Front in power between 1989 and 1991, see National Front ....


Seats: 34
Communist Party of India (Marxist)
Communist Party of India (Marxist)
The Communist Party of India is a political party in India. It has a strong presence in the states of Kerala, West Bengal and Tripura. As of 2011, CPI is leading the state government in Tripura. It leads the Left Front coalition of leftist parties in various states and the national parliament of...

13
Biju Janata Dal
Biju Janata Dal
The Biju Janata Dal is a state political party of the Indian state of Orissa led by Naveen Patnaik, son of former state chief minister Biju Patnaik. It was founded on 27 December 1997.-History:...

6
Communist Party of India
Communist Party of India
The Communist Party of India is a national political party in India. In the Indian communist movement, there are different views on exactly when the Indian communist party was founded. The date maintained as the foundation day by CPI is 26 December 1925...

5
All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam
All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam
All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam is a state political party in the states of Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry, India. The party was founded by M. G. Ramachandran and is now headed by J. Jayalalithaa. The party headquarters is in Royapettah, Chennai, and was gifted to the party in 1986 by its...

5
Telugu Desam Party
Telugu Desam Party
Telugu Desam Party or TDP is a regional political party in India's Andhra Pradesh state. It was founded by former Telugu film star N. T...

4
All India Forward Block 1
Parties supporting UPA from outside
Seats: 32
Samajwadi Party
Samajwadi Party
Samajwadi Party is a political party in India. It is based in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. It describes itself as a democratic socialist party...

5
Bahujan Samaj Party
Bahujan Samaj Party
The Bahujan Samaj Party is a centrist national political party in India with socialist leanings. It was formed to chiefly represent Bahujans , referring to people from the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Castes as well as Buddhists. The party claims to be inspired by the...

18
Rashtriya Janata Dal
Rashtriya Janata Dal
The Rashtriya Janata Dal is a political party in India, based in the state of Bihar. The party was founded in 1997 by Laloo Prasad Yadav. The party came about as a result of Lalu Prasad Yadav, ex-president of Janata Dal, being evicted by Sharad Yadav, the then president, on corruption charges ...

4
Lok Janshakti Party
Lok Janshakti Party
The Lok Jan Shakti Party is a state political party in the state Bihar , India. It is led by Ram Vilas Paswan. The party was formed in 2000 when Paswan split from Janata Dal . The party has considerable following amongst Dalits in Bihar. The 2004 Lok Sabha elections marked a major break-through for...

2
Mizo National Front
Mizo National Front
Mizo National Front is a regional political party in Mizoram, India. MNF emerged out of the Mizo National Famine Front, which was formed by Pu Laldenga to protest against the inaction of the Indian central government towards the famine situation in the Mizo areas of the Assam state in 1959. It...

1
Sikkim Democratic Front
Sikkim Democratic Front
Sikkim Democratic Front is a political party in the Indian state of Sikkim. The party was founded by Pawan Kumar Chamling in 1993. It has ruled the state since 1994 with Pawan Kumar Chamling as the chief minister. The party consolidated its position sweeping the 1999 and 2004 state elections. It...

1
Nagaland People's Front
Nagaland People's Front
The Nagaland People's Front is a political party in the Indian state of Nagaland. 2003-2008 it headed the state government of Nagaland together with Bharatiya Janata Party, as part of the Democratic Alliance of Nagaland. Dr. Shürhozelie is the president of the party...

1
Nominated 8
Other Parties and Independents 6
Vacant Seats 1
Total 245

See also

  • Members of Rajya Sabha
    Members of Rajya Sabha
    Rajya Sabha is the upper house of the Indian Parliament. Membership is limited to 250 members, 12 of whom are chosen by the President of India for their expertise in specific fields of art, literature, science, and social services. These members are known as nominated members...

  • Lok Sabha
    Lok Sabha
    The Lok Sabha or House of the People is the lower house of the Parliament of India. Members of the Lok Sabha are elected by direct election under universal adult suffrage. As of 2009, there have been fifteen Lok Sabhas elected by the people of India...

  • Politics of India
    Politics of India
    The politics of India takes place within the framework of a federal constitutional republic, in which the President of India is head of state and the Prime Minister of India is the head of government. Executive power is exercised by the President and is independent of the legislature...

  • Parliament of India
    Parliament of India
    The Parliament of India is the supreme legislative body in India. Founded in 1919, the Parliament alone possesses legislative supremacy and thereby ultimate power over all political bodies in India. The Parliament of India comprises the President and the two Houses, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha...

  • Lawmaking procedure in India
    Lawmaking procedure in India
    India being a federal country, laws can be made separately at different levels by the Union Government for the entire country and by the State Governments for their respective states. The legislative procedure in India for the Union Government requires that the proposed law or bill passing through...


Further reading


External links

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