I would like to elicit the opinion of the party and forum members on the need for the "upper house" of legislature whether it is Rajya sabha or State councils.
We are witnessing another round of RS elections now. We are also witnessing intense lobbying, back-room tactics, money squandering, cross voting, selling and buying of tickets and distribution of tickets to the favourites, loyalists, cronies and manipulators. This is happening across all party lines with no exception.The leaders who have lost LS elections/ Assembly elections are trying to get political rehab in this house. This has become a routine with only a few exceptions here and there. Also, persons who dont even belong to a particular state, are being given ticket because of the strength of the party.
While there is a limit of expenses to be incurred by candidate for LS/ Assembly elections, no such cap is there on the RS/council elections, thereby the role of money is much more here, more so as this house gives the member an assured term rather than the uncertain LS term.
The constitutional experts envisaged the upper house to be the house of elders where persons of eminence from all walks of life, who are not into the muddle of electoral politics and elections are nominated and they help the govt by providing the necessary expertise in governance.
Today such "experts" are divided on party lines and the RS seat/ Council seat is used as inducement/ superannuation benifit to get requisite favours from some officers and persons of prominence, including judges, army men, commision chiefs etc.
Everybody will agree that today there is no quality and substance in Parliamentary debates. Everything is spoken along party lines. There is no such thing as "conscience vote" or taking stands on issues contrary to that of party, whichever party it may be. Conscience vote has become euphemism for money induced cross vote. Democracy, unfortunately has been reduced to a 51-49 game.
Under this background, I think it would be prudent to scrap the RS/ Leislative Councils. We can increase the strength of LS by another 100-150 and have smaller constituencies.
To accomodate talent, a constitutional amendment may be brought wherein the PM can induct a maximum of 10 members who are not members of the house in his cabinet on discretionary quota.