|The Chairman||Mohammad Hamid Ansari, Independent
|Majority Leader||Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh, (INC)
|Opposition Leader||Arun Jaitley, (BJP)
|Members||250 (238 elected + 12 appointed)|
The Rajya Sabha (Hindi: राज्य सभा; meaning the "Council of States") is the upper house of the Parliament of India. Membership is limited to 250 members, 12 of whom are chosen by the President of India for their expertise in specific fields of art, literature, science, and social services. These members are known as nominated members. The remainder of the body is elected by state and territorial legislatures. Terms of office are for six years, with one third of the members retiring every two years.
The Rajya Sabha meets in continuous session and, unlike the lower house of parliament, the Lok Sabha, is not subject to dissolution. The Rajya Sabha shares legislative powers with the Lok Sabha, except in the area of supply, where the Lok Sabha has overriding powers. In the case of conflicting legislation, a joint sitting of the two houses is held. However, since the Lok Sabha has more than twice as many members than the Rajya Sabha, it holds de facto veto power in such joint sessions.
The Vice-President of India (currently, Hamid Ansari) is the ex-officio Chairman of the Rajya Sabha. The Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, who is elected from amongst its members, takes care of the day-to-day matters of the house in the absence of the Chairman.
The Rajya Sabha held its first sitting on 13 May 1952.
There are 238 elected members, who represent the 28 states and 7 Union Territories,including the National Capital territory, New Delhi. Seats are allotted on the basis of population.
Under article 80 of the Constitution, out of the 250 members of the Council of States (Rajya Sabha), 12 are nominated by the President of India from amongst persons who have special knowledge or practical experience in the fields such as literature, science, art or social service.
Since its inception in 1952, 105 members have been nominated so far, for a term of 6-year each, and with an added provision that one-third of the members shall retire every two years.
Source: Election Commission of India (as of 7/05/2009)
|Alliances (after 2009 election)||Party||MPs|
|United Progressive Alliance
|Indian National Congress||67|
|Nationalist Congress Party||4|
|Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam||4|
|All India Trinamool Congress||2|
|Indian Union Muslim League||1|
|Bodoland People's Front||1|
|Jharkhand Mukti Morcha||1|
|National Democratic Alliance
|Bharatiya Janata Party||47|
|Janata Dal (United)||6|
|Shiromani Akali Dal||3|
|Asom Gana Parishad||2|
|Rashtriya Lok Dal||1|
|Communist Party of India (Marxist)||15|
|Communist Party of India||5|
|All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam||7|
|Telugu Desam Party||2|
|All India Forward Bloc||1|
|Pattali Makkal Katchi||1|
|Revolutionary Socialist Party||1|
|Parties supporting UPA from outside
|Bahujan Samaj Party||11|
|Rashtriya Janata Dal||4|
|Janata Dal (Secular)||2|
|Lok Janshakti Party||1|
|Sikkim Democratic Front||1|
|Nagaland People's Front||1|
|Other Parties and Independents