How are members of the upper house of the Indian parliament, the Rajya Sabha, elected or selected?

Are they elected by the direct vote of people? Or are they elected by the vote of lower house members? Or are they selected by the president?

When does this election or selection take place?


1 Answer 1


Rajya Sabha
The upper house is called Rajya Sabha - i.e. house of the States, as opposed to the lower house, called Lok Sabha - i.e. house of the people.
The Vice-President of India is the ex-officio chairman of Rajya Sabha, while the deputy chairman of Rajya Sabha is elected from amongst Rajya Sabha members.

Representation of the States
Members of the upper house are elected by the legislative assemblies of States (mostly called Vidhan Sabha) by means of single transferable vote through proportional representation.
That is, suppose Maharashtra (a state) has 12 seats in RS. And suppose it has 36 seats in its Vidhan Sabha, with 24 seats of Party A and 12 seats of Party B. Then, in the RS, 8 seats will be for Party A; and 4 for Party B. That is what I mean by proportional representation.
Members of the legislative assemblies of state are elected directly by the population, just like Lok Sabha.

Representation of the UTs
Members of Rajya Sabha belonging to Union Territories are indirectly elected by members of an electoral college (which is usually the UT's legislature), that is constituted for this purpose. A State/UT usually has number of seats proportional to their population as per the 1971 census of India. Out of 8 UTs, Delhi, Puducherry and Jammu and Kashmir have representation in Rajya Sabha.

Nominated Members
In addition, twelve members are nominated by the President of India having special knowledge in various areas like Art, Literature, Science, and Social Service. However, they are not entitled to vote in presidential elections as per Article 55 of the Constitution.

Term of the House
Rajya Sabha is a permanent body, also known as a ‘continuing chamber.’ Unlike Lok Sabha which usually is dissolved within 5 years and fresh elections are taken up, Rajya Sabha has no specific tenure and it keeps on running. It is never dissolved.
Every second year, one-third of its members retire. For the vacant seats, fresh elections take place. However, nominations are taken up at the beginning of the third year.

Source and Further Reading: Wikipedia and various articles from the Constitution of India [Specifically, article 79, 80, 82, 83, 89, 107, 109] and my answer to a question about the need for Rajya Sabha

  • Similar in many ways to the U.S. Senate prior to direct election of Senators.
    – ohwilleke
    Dec 29, 2023 at 21:42

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .