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Equality of Seats in Rajya Sabha

  • Need:
    • Firstly, states that need urgent developmental effort and institutional reforms from the centre have the least voice due to their small proportion in RS. For example, North Eastern States are regularly at the backbench of much work in the Rajya Sabha.
      • Nine States in India have just one member each in the Rajya Sabha.
      • Just ten populous States occupy nearly 70% of the total elected membership of the Upper House.
      • Some smaller States have expressed resentment at their inability to make their voice felt at the Centre.
    • The number of seats in the Lok Sabha anyway is directly linked to the population and there is no need to duplicate the principle.
    • Large states with many Rajya Sabha seats can use it to politically influence the outcome of many important bills for their own vested interests.
    • Debates in RS have become one sided in favour of large states.
    • Equality of seats will truly allow us to meet the goals of cooperative federalism.
  • Drawbacks:
    • This could also lead to a situation where smaller states could block reform even if it’s for benefit of the larger populations in big states.