Prelims level : Polity & Governance- Constitutional Bodies, Regulatory Bodies Mains level : GS-II Parliament and State Legislatures - Structure, Functioning, conduct of Business, Powers & Privileges and Issues Arising out of these.
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Why in News?

  • The Election Commission has announced that elections to 55 Rajya Sabha seats will be held on March 26, 2020.


  • Since Rajya Sabha MPs are elected by state MLAs, political parties with more MLAs are likely to send more MPs to the Upper House.
  • Major changes, therefore, are expected in states that have seen a change of power in the last Assembly election.
  • Therefore, the BJP is expected to lose seats in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Rajasthan where it lost state elections.
  • However, it will gain in Uttarakhand and Karnataka, where it came to power in 2017 and 2019 respectively.
  • Overall, the BJP’s current strength in Rajya Sabha will likely remain undiminished.
  • The Trinamool Congress and YSR Congress Party are expected to make significant gains in the 245-member Upper House after the elections.


  • These seats will be filled by representatives from 17 states.
  • The terms of 51 members will end in April, 2020.
  • The other four seats are already vacant.
  • The strength of Rajya Sabha is 238 currently.
  • As of now, the BJP has 82 Members in the Rajya Sabha, and the Congress 46. Of the retiring MPs, 18 are from the BJP, and 11 are from the Congress.


  • A member of the Rajya Sabha must:
    • Be a citizen of India;
    • Be at least 30 years old;
    • Possess such other qualifications as may be prescribed in that behalf by or under any law made by Parliament.

System of election in Rajya Sabha:

  • Rajya Sabha also known as Council of States consist of not more than 250 members of whom:
    • 238 members are elected by MLAs of various States and Union Territories
    • 12 members nominated by the President.
  • Rajya Sabha is a permanent house because one third of members retire every 2 years and same number of members are elected.
  • Its members are elected by the Legislative Assembly of States and Union territories by means of Single transferable vote through Proportional representation.
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