RS POLLS .. Voting under way for 24 Rajya Sabha seats; suspense in Gujarat, Rajasthan, MP

NEW DELHI: Some 24 Rajya Sabha seats from 10 states are up for polls on Friday, a process which sees assembly members (MLAs) electing members for the upper house of Parliament – instead of people electing their representatives directly through general elections to the Lok Sabha. Rajya Sabha fills its seats periodically and not in one go, unlike the Lok Sabha polls.

The RS polls are crucial for the ruling National Democratic Alliance, which still does not have a majority in the upper house – a scenario that plagued the Modi government bitterly in its first term in office. There is progressive improvement in the number of seats for the NDA in Rajya Sabha, but it requires 30 more seats to have a majority. A majority is necessary in both houses of Parliament for the government to pass major legislations through, other than finance bill. After constant blocking of the GST bill, simply for the heck of it by the Congress party and the CPIM-CPI, the bill was passed as a finance bill by the Modi government by skirting the Rajya Sabha vote. It however took years for Modi to find this way out.

Elections are under way on Friday for four seats each from Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, three each from Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, two from Jharkhand and one each from Meghalaya, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram. IHN-NN’

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