When the Constitution of independent Bharat was being drafted, the founding fathers of modern Bharat as a Republic were of the firm opinion that a body like the Rajya Sabha or the house of elders was an important requirement for the smooth functioning of Indian democracy.
Instead of being directly elected like Lok Sabha MPs, Rajya Sabha members were to be elected by MLAs and MLCs with voting powers in state legislatures.
The logic was that many luminaries who were not meant for the rough and tumble of direct electoral politics could benefit the nation as Rajya Sabha members with their wisdom and experience. It did work out well in the early decades of the Republic.
However, it has been observed for a long time that Rajya Sabha candidates were being selected not on merit but because of loyalties to a party or its leaders. Worse, many money bags and new rich with no interest in policies somehow managed to get into the Rajya Sabha.
Even worse, Rajya Sabha elections have become like a free for all circus where legislators face allegations of bribery and corruption to secure their vote. This has been witnessed time and again, including the latest round of elections to the Rajya Sabha.
CVoter conducted a nationwide survey on behalf of IANS to find out what ordinary Bharatiyas thought of the functioning of the Rajya Sabha and its utility for Indian democracy.
Overall, two out of every three respondents were of the opinion that the Rajya Sabha has lost its meaning and should be disbanded.
In what appears to be initially surprising, 69 per cent of opposition supporters were of the opinion that the Rajya Sabha should be disbanded, while 63 per cent of NDA supporters shared the same sentiment.
But that could be because the opposition parties are the ones who face defeat when elections are held.
While 71 per cent of poorly educated Bharatiyas felt the same, less than 50 per cent of the highly educated shared the same sentiment.
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