On Rajya Sabha Elections

Date: 
Saturday, June 5, 2004

Press Statement

The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued the following statement:
On Rajya Sabha Elections

The change in the nature of the elected representatives to the Rajya Sabha and the procedure to elect them is now before the Supreme Court. The law was amended to do away with the domicile/residential qualification for electing members to the Rajya Sabha. Further, the open ballot system was introduced for electing Rajya Sabha members by the members of the state legislatures. The CPI(M) was opposed to both these changes. The Rajya Sabha, according to the constitutional arrangement, is the Council of States and the members elected should be from the states concerned. This is an expression of the federal character in Parliament.

Secondly, the secret ballot principle applies to all elections. Exempting elections to the Rajya Sabha from this principle is a violation of the democratic principle.
The Polit Bureau hopes the Supreme Court will examine these issues which have serious implications for the constitutional arrangement and the democratic system.