Parliament ( LS & RS)

Lok Sabha

Lok Sabha
लोक सभा
House of the People
16th Lok Sabha
Emblem of India
Type Lower house of the Parliament of India
Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, BJP
Deputy Speaker M. Thambidurai, AIADMK
Leader of the House Narendra Modi, BJP
Leader of the Opposition Vacant, as no one opposition party has more than 10% of the seats.
Seats 545 (543 elected + 2 Nominated from the Anglo-Indian Community by the President of India)[
Political groups Government coalition (National Democratic Alliance) (337)

·              BJP (280)

·              Shiv Sena (18)

·              TDP (16)

·              LJP (6)

·              Akali Dal (4)

·              RLSP (3)

·              PDP (3)

·              Apna Dal (2)

·              N. R. Congress (1)

·              Nagaland People’s Fr. (1)

·              NPP (1)

·              PMK (1)

·              Swabhimani Paksha (1)

Opposition parties (205)

United Progressive Alliance (49)

·              Congress (45)

·              Muslim League (2)

·              Kerala Congress (M) (1)

·              RSP (1)

Janata Parivar group (9)

·              RJD (3)

·              INLD (2)

·              JD(S) (2)

·              JD(U) (2)

Unaligned parties (134)

·              Anna DMK (37)

·              Trinamool Congress (34)

·              BJD (20)

·              TRS (11)

·              YSR Congress (9)

·              NCP (6)

·              Samajwadi Party (5)

·              AAP (4)

·              AIUDF (3)

·              JMM (2)

·              AIMIM (1)

·              Sikkim Dem. Front (1)

·              Expelled RJD member (1)

Communist parties (10)

·              CPI(M) (9)

·              CPI (1)

Independents (3)

Speaker of the House,BJP (1)

Nominated (2)

Voting system First past the post
Last election April–May 2014
Next election Indian general election, 2019
Meeting place
Lok Sabha Chambers, Sansad Bhavan, Sansad Marg,New Delhi

The Lok Sabha (English: House of the People) is the lower house of India’s Bicameral-Parliament, with the higher house being the Rajya Sabha. The House is an elected body consisting of 543 members known as Members of Parliament (MPs). Members are elected by adult Universal suffrage and a first-past-the-post system to represent their respective constituencies. Members hold their seats until the body is dissolved by the President on the advice of the council of ministers. The house meets in the Lok Sabha Chambers of the Sansad Bhavan in New Delhi.

The maximum strength of the House envisaged by the Constitution of India is 552, which is made up by election of up to 530 members to represent the states; up to 20 members to represent the Union Territories and not more than two members of theAnglo-Indian Community to be nominated by the President of India, if, in his/her opinion, that community is not adequately represented in the House. Under the current laws, the strength of Lok Sabha is 545, including the two seats reserved for members of the Anglo-Indian community. The total elective membership is distributed among the states in proportion to their population. A total of 131 seats (18.42%) are reserved for representatives of Scheduled Castes (84) and Scheduled Tribes (47). The quorum for the House is 10% of the total membership.

The Lok Sabha, unless sooner dissolved, continues to operate for five years from the date appointed for its first meeting and the expiration of the period of five years. However, while a proclamation of emergency is in operation, this period may be extended by Parliament by law for a period not exceeding one year at a time and not extending, in any case, beyond a period of six months after the proclamation has ceased to operate. An exercise to redraw Lok Sabha constituencies’ boundaries has been carried out by the Delimitation Commission based on the Indian census of 2001. This exercise, which was supposed to be carried out after every census, was suspended in 1976 following a constitutional amendment to avoid adverse effects on the family planning program which was being implemented. The 16th Lok Sabha was elected in May 2014 and is the latest to date.

The Lok Sabha has its own television channel, Lok Sabha TV, headquartered within the premises of Parliament.


  • 1History
  • 2Qualifications for becoming a member of Lok Sabha
  • 3Powers:Lok Sabha vs Rajya Sabha
  • 4Procedure
    • 1Procedure in the House
    • 2Sessions and Time of Sittings
    • 3Question Hour
    • 4Business after Question Hour
    • 5Main Business
      • 5.1Legislative Business
      • 5.2Financial Business
      • 5.3Motions and Resolutions
    • 6Half-an-Hour Discussion.
    • 7Discussion on Matters of Urgent Public Importance
    • 8Debate in the House
      • 8.1Division
    • 9Automatic Vote Recording System
    • 10Publication of Debates
  • 5Officers of Lok Sabha
  • 6Composition by states and territories
  • 7Previous Lok Sabha general elections
  • 8Number of members by party in Lok Sabha


This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (March 2014)

A major portion of the Indian subcontinent was under British rule from 1857 to 1947. During this period, the office of theSecretary of State for India (along with the Council of India) was the authority through whom parliament exercised its rule in the Indian sub-continent, and the office of Viceroy of India was created, along with an Executive Council in India, consisting of high officials of the British government. The Indian Councils Act 1861 provided for a Legislative Council consisting of the members of the Executive Council and non-official members. The Indian Councils Act 1892 established legislatures in each of the provinces of British India and increased the powers of the Legislative Council. Although these Acts increased the representation of Indians in the government, their power still remained limited, and the electorate very small. The Indian Councils Act 1909 and the Government of India Act 1919 further expanded the participation of Indians in the administration. The Indian Independence Act, passed by the British parliament on 18 July 1947, divided British India (which did not include the Princely States) into two new independent countries, India and Pakistan, which were to be dominions under the Crownuntil they had each enacted a new constitution. The Constituent Assembly was divided into two for the separate nations, with each new Assembly having sovereign powers transferred to it for the respective dominion.

The Constitution of India was adopted on 26 November 1949 and came into effect on 26 January 1950, proclaiming India to be a sovereign, democratic republic. This contained the founding principles of the law of the land which would govern India in its new form, which now included all the princely states which had not acceded to Pakistan.

According to Article 79 (Part V-The Union.) of the Constitution of India, the Parliament of India consists of the President of India and the two Houses of Parliament known as the Council of States (Rajya Sabha) and the House of the People (Lok Sabha).

The Lok Sabha (House of the Leaders) was duly constituted for the first time on 17 April 1952 after the first General Elections held from 25 October 1951 to 21 February 1952. The first Session of the First Lok Sabha commenced on 13 May 1952. The Second Lok Sabha in April 1957, the Third Lok Sabha in April 1962, the Fourth Lok Sabha in March 1967, the Fifth Lok Sabha in March 1971, the Sixth Lok Sabha in March 1977, the Seventh Lok Sabha in January 1980, the Eighth Lok Sabha in December 1984, the Ninth Lok Sabha in December 1989, the Tenth Lok Sabha in June 1991, the Eleventh Lok Sabha in May 1996, the Twelfth Lok Sabha in March 1998, the Thirteenth Lok Sabha in October 1999, the Fourteenth Lok Sabha in May 2004, the Fifteenth Lok Sabha in May 2009, and the Sixteenth (and current) Lok Sabha in May 2014.

Qualifications for becoming a member of Lok Sabha

Election Commission of India

Article 84 (Part V.—The Union) of Indian Constitution sets qualifications for being a member of Lok Sabha, which are as follows:-

  1. He / She should be a citizen of India, and must subscribe before theElection Commission of India an oath or affirmation according to the form set out for the purpose in the Third Schedule of Indian Constitution.
  2. He / She, in the case of a seat in the House of the People, should not be less than twenty-five years of age.
  3. He / She possesses such other qualifications as may be prescribed in that behalf by or under any law made byParliament.
  4. He / She should not be proclaimed criminal i.e. they should not be a convict, a confirmed debtor or otherwise disqualified by law; and
  5. He / She should have his/her name in the electoral rolls in any part of the country.

However, a member can be disqualified of being a member of Parliament:-

  1. If he / she holds office of profit;
  2. If he / she is of unsound mind and stands so declared by a competent court
  3. If he / she is an undischarged insolvent;
  4. If he / she is not a citizen of India, or has voluntarily acquired the citizenship of a foreign State, or is under any acknowledgment of allegiance or adherence to a foreign State;
  5. If he / she is violating party discipline (as per Tenth schedule of the constitution); disqualified underRepresentation of People Act.

Furthermore, as per article 101 (Part V.—The Union) [11] of Indian Constitution; A person cannot be :- (1) a member of both Houses of Parliament and provision shall be made by Parliament by law for the vacation by a person who is chosen a member of both Houses of his seat in one House or the other.(2) a member both of Parliament and of a House of the Legislature of a State.

System of elections in Lok Sabha

Members of the Lok Sabha are directly elected by the people of India, on the basis of Universal Suffrage For the purpose of holding direct elections to Lok Sabha; each state is divided into territorial constituencies. In this respect, the constitution of India makes the following two provisions:

  1. Each state is allotted a number of seats in the Lok Sabha in such a manner that the ratio between that number and its population is same for all the states of India. This provision does not apply for states having a population of less than 6 million (60 lakhs).
  2. Each state is divided into territorial constituencies in such a manner that the ratio between the population of eachconstituency and the number of seats allotted to it remain the same throughout the state.

Note: The expression population here refers to the population ascertained at the preceding census (2001 Census) of which relevant figure have been published.

Powers:Lok Sabha vs Rajya Sabha

Lok Sabha has certain powers that make it more powerful than the Rajya Sabha.

  • Motions of no confidenceagainst the government can be introduced and passed in the Lok Sabha. If passed by a majority vote, the Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers resigns collectively. The Rajya Sabha has no power over such a motion, and hence no real power over the executive. However, the Prime Minister may threaten the dissolution by the Lok Sabha and recommend this to the President, forcing an untimely general election. The President normally accepts this recommendation unless otherwise convinced that the Lok Sabha might recommend a new Prime Minister by a majority vote. Thus, both the executive and the legislature in India have checks and balances over each other.
  • Money billscan only be introduced in the Lok Sabha, and upon being passed, are sent to the Rajya Sabha, where it can be deliberated on for up to 14 days. If not rejected by the Rajya Sabha, or 14 days lapse from the introduction of the bill in the Rajya Sabha without any action by the House, or recommendations made by the Rajya Sabha are not accepted by the Lok Sabha, the bill is considered passed. The budget is presented in the Lok Sabha by the Finance Minister in the name of the President of India.
  • In matters pertaining to non-financial (ordinary) bills, after the bill has been passed by the House where it was originally tabled (Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha), it is sent to the other house, where it may be kept for a maximum period of 6 months. If the other House rejects the bill or a period of 6 months elapses without any action by that House, or the House that originally tabled the bill does not accept the recommendations made by the members of the other house, it results in a deadlock. This is resolved by a joint session of both Houses, presided over by the speaker of the Lok Sabha and decided by asimple majority. The will of the Lok Sabha normally prevails in these matters, as its strength is more than double that of the Rajya Sabha.
  • Equal Powers with the Rajya Sabha in initiating and passing any Bill for Constitutional Amendment (by a majority of the total membership of the House and at least two-thirds majority of the members present and voting).
  • Equal Powers with the Rajya Sabha in initiating and passing a motion for the impeachment of the President (by two-thirds of the membership of the House).
  • Equal Powers with the Rajya Sabha inimpeachment process (initiating and passing a motion for the removal) of the judges of the Supreme Court and the state High Courts (by a majority of the membership of the House and at least two-thirds majority of the members present and voting), who then can be removed by the President of India.
  • Equal Powers with the Rajya Sabha in initiating and passing a resolution declaring war or national emergency (by two-thirds majority) or constitutional emergency (by simple majority) in a state.
  • If the Lok Sabha is dissolved before or after the declaration of a National Emergency, the Rajya Sabha becomes the sole Parliament. It cannot be dissolved. This is a limitation on the Lok Sabha. But there is a possibility that president can exceed the term to not more than 1 year under the proclamation of emergency and the same would be lowered down to six-month if the said proclamation ceases to operate.

In conclusion, it is clear that the Lok Sabha enjoys more power than the Rajya Sabha, which is a key feature of many Parliamentary democracies, such as the United Kingdom or Canada.

Officers of Lok Sabha

Speaker and Deputy Speaker

As per Article 93 of Indian Constitution, the Lok Sabha has a Speaker and a Deputy Speaker. In the Lok Sabha, the lower House of the Indian Parliament, both presiding officers—the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker- are elected from among its members by a simple majority of members present and voting in the House. As such, no specific qualifications are prescribed for being elected the Speaker. The Constitution only requires that Speaker should be a member of the House. But an understanding of the Constitution and the laws of the country and the rules of procedure and conventions of Parliament is considered a major asset for the holder of the office of the Speaker. Vacation and resignation of, and removal from, the offices of Speaker and Deputy Speaker is mentioned under As per Article 93 of Indian Constitution. A Speaker or a Deputy Speaker, should vacate his/her office, a) if he/she ceases to be a member of the House of the People, b) he/she resigns, c) removed from his office by a resolution of the House of the People passed by a majority.

The Speaker of Lok Sabha is at once a member of the House as also its Presiding Officer.The Speaker of the Lok Sabha conducts the business in the house. He/she decides whether a bill is a money bill or not. He/she maintains discipline and decorum in the house and can punish a member for their unruly behaviour by suspending them. He/she permits the moving of various kinds of motions and resolutions like the motion of no confidence, motion of adjournment, motion of censure and calling attention notice as per the rules. The Speaker decides on the agenda to be taken up for discussion during the meeting.It is the Speaker of the Lok Sabha who presides over joint sittings called in the event of disagreement between the two Houses on a legislative measure. Following the 52nd Constitution amendment, the Speaker is vested with the power relating to the disqualification of a member of the Lok Sabha on grounds of defection. The Speaker makes obituary references in the House, formal references to important national and international events and the valedictory address at the conclusion of every Session of the Lok Sabha and also when the term of the House expires. Though a member of the House, the Speaker does not vote in the House except on those rare occasions when there is a tie at the end of a decision. Till date, the Speaker of the Lok Sabha has not been called upon to exercise this unique casting vote. While the office of Speaker is vacant due to absence/resignation/removal, the duties of the office shall be performed by the Deputy Speaker or, if the office of Deputy Speaker is also vacant, by such member of the House of the People as the President may appoint for the purpose.

Shri G.V. Mavalankar was the first Speaker of Lok Sabha (15 May 1952- 27 February 1956) and Shri M. Ananthasayanam Ayyangar was the first Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha (30 May 1952 – 7 March 1956). In the 16th Lok Sabha, Sumitra Mahajan was elected as the speaker on 3 June 2014, and is its second woman speaker and Shri M. Thambiduraias the deputy speaker.

The Lok Sabha has also a separate non-elected Secretariat staff.

Composition by states and territories[

Subdivision Type No. of constituencies
Andaman and Nicobar Islands Union Territory 1
Andhra Pradesh State 25
Arunachal Pradesh State 2
Assam State 14
Bihar State 40
Chandigarh Union Territory 1
Chhattisgarh State 11
Dadra and Nagar Haveli Union Territory 1
Daman and Diu Union Territory 1
National Capital Territory of Delhi Union Territory 7
Goa State 2
Gujarat State 26
Haryana State 10
Himachal Pradesh State 4
Jammu and Kashmir State 6
Jharkhand State 14
Karnataka State 28
Kerala State 20
Lakshadweep Union Territory 1
Madhya Pradesh State 29
Maharashtra State 48
Manipur State 2
Meghalaya State 2
Mizoram State 1
Nagaland State 1
Odisha State 21
Puducherry Union Territory 1
Punjab State 13
Rajasthan State 25
Sikkim State 1
Tamil Nadu State 39
Telangana State 17
Tripura State 2
Uttarakhand State 5
Uttar Pradesh State 80
West Bengal State 42

Previous Lok Sabha general elections

Lok Sabha is constituted after the general election as follows:

Lok Sabha General Election
1st Lok Sabha Indian general election, 1952
2nd Lok Sabha Indian general election, 1957
3rd Lok Sabha Indian general election, 1962
4th Lok Sabha Indian general election, 1967
5th Lok Sabha Indian general election, 1971
6th Lok Sabha Indian general election, 1977
7th Lok Sabha Indian general election, 1980
8th Lok Sabha Indian general election, 1984
9th Lok Sabha Indian general election, 1989
10th Lok Sabha Indian general election, 1991
11th Lok Sabha Indian general election, 1996
12th Lok Sabha Indian general election, 1998
13th Lok Sabha Indian general election, 1999
14th Lok Sabha Indian general election, 2004
15th Lok Sabha Indian general election, 2009
16th Lok Sabha Indian general election, 2014

Number of members by party in Lok Sabha

Currently elected members of 16th Lok Sabha by their political party (as of 12 February 2016):

Alliance Party Seats
National Democratic Alliance
Seats: 337
Bharatiya Janata Party 280
Shiv Sena 18
Telugu Desam Party 16
Lok Jan Shakti Party 6
Shiromani Akali Dal 4
Rashtriya Lok Samta Party 3
Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party 3
Apna Dal 2
All India N.R. Congress 1
Nagaland Peoples Front 1
National Peoples Party 1
Pattali Makkal Katchi 1
Swabhimani Paksha 1
United Progressive Alliance
Seats: 49
Indian National Congress 45
Indian Union Muslim League 2
Kerala Congress (Mani) 1
Revolutionary Socialist Party 1
Janata Parivar
Seats: 9
Rashtriya Janata Dal 3
Janata Dal (United) 2
Indian National Lok Dal 2
Janata Dal (Secular) 2
Other Parties
Seats: 134
All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam 37
All India Trinamool Congress 34
Biju Janata Dal 20
Telangana Rashtra Samithi 11
Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party 9
Nationalist Congress Party 6
Samajwadi Party 5
Aam Aadmi Party 4
All India United Democratic Front 3
Jharkhand Mukti Morcha 2
All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen 1
Sikkim Democratic Front 1
Expelled RJD Member 1
Communist Parties
Seats: 10
Communist Party of India (Marxist) 9
Communist Party of India 1
Independents 3
Nominated Anglo-Indians 2
Speaker of the House Bharatiya Janata Party 1
Vacant Seats 0
Total 545

Speaker of the Lok Sabha

Speaker of the Lok Sabha
लोक सभा अध्यक्ष
Emblem of India
Sumitra Mahajan
Style The Honourable
Appointer Members of the Lok Sabha
Term length During the life of the Lok Sabha (five years maximum)
Inaugural holder Ganesh Vasudev Mavalankar
Formation 15 May 1952
Website Speaker’s Official Website

The Speaker of the Lok Sabha is the presiding officer of the Lok Sabha, the lower house of the Parliament of India. His/her role is similar to that of Speakers elsewhere in other countries that use the Westminster system of government. The speaker is elected in the very first meeting of the Lok Sabha following general elections. Serving for a term of 5 years, he/she is chosen from amongst the members of the Lok Sabha, and is by convention a member of the ruling party or alliance.

The current speaker is Sumitra Mahajan of the Bharatiya Janata Party, who is presiding over the 16th Lok Sabha. She is the second woman to hold the office, after her immediate predecessor Meira Kumar.


  • 1Powers and functions of the Speaker
  • 2Protem Speaker
  • 3List of Speakers

Powers and functions of the Speaker

The Speaker of the Lok Sabha conducts the business in the house. He/She decides whether a bill is a money bill or not. He/She maintains discipline and decorum in the house and can punish a member for their unruly behaviour by suspending them. He/She permits the moving of various kinds of motions and resolutions like the motion of no confidence, motion of adjournment, motion of censure and calling attention notice as per the rules. The Speaker decides on the agenda to be taken up for discussion during the meeting. The date of election of speaker is fixed by the President. Further, all comments and speeches made by members of the House are addressed to the speaker. The speaker also presides over the joint sitting of both Houses of Parliament. The counterpart of the Speaker in the Rajya Sabha is the Chairman, who is the Vice President of India. In the warrant of precedence, the speaker of Lok Sabha comes next only to The Prime Minister. Speaker has the fourth rank in the political executive of India.

Protem Speaker

After a general election and the formation of a new government, a list of senior Lok Sabha members prepared by the Legislative Section is submitted to the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, who selects a protem speaker. The appointment has to be approved by the president.[1]

The first meeting after the election when the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker are selected by members of the Parliament is held under the pro tem Speaker. In absence of the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker acts as Speaker and in the absence of both a committee of six member selected by the Speaker will act as Speaker according to their seniority.

List of Speakers

No. Name Portrait Term Party
From To Length Lok Sabha
1 Ganesh Vasudev Mavalankar 15 May 1952 27 February 1956 3 years, 288 days 1st Indian National Congress
2 M. A. Ayyangar 8 March 1956 10 May 1957 1 year, 63 days
11 May 1957 16 April 1962 4 years, 340 days 2nd
3 Sardar Hukam Singh 17 April 1962 16 March 1967 4 years, 333 days 3rd
4 Neelam Sanjiva Reddy 17 March 1967 19 July 1969 2 years, 124 days 4th
5 Gurdial Singh Dhillon 8 August 1969 19 March 1971 1 year, 221 days
22 March 1971 1 December 1975 4 years, 254 days 5th
6 Bali Ram Bhagat 15 January 1976 25 March 1977 1 year, 69 days
(4) Neelam Sanjiva Reddy 26 March 1977 13 July 1977 109 days 6th Janata Party
7 K. S. Hegde 21 July 1977 21 January 1980 2 years, 184 days
8 Balram Jakhar 22 January 1980 27 oct 1985 4 years, 359 days 7th Indian National Congress
16 January 1985 18 December 1989 4 years, 336 days 8th
9 Rabi Ray 19 December 1989 9 July 1991 1 year, 202 days 9th Janata Dal
10 Shivraj Patil 10 July 1991 22 May 1996 4 years, 317 days 10th Indian National Congress
11 P. A. Sangma 23 May 1996 23 March 1998 1 year, 304 days 11th
12 G. M. C. Balayogi 24 March 1998 19 October 1999 1 year, 209 days 12th Telugu Desam Party
22 October 1999 3 March 2002 2 years, 132 days 13th
13 Manohar Joshi 10 May 2002 2 June 2004 2 years, 23 days Shiv Sena
14 Somnath Chatterjee 4 June 2004 31 May 2009 4 years, 361 days 14th Communist Party of India (Marxist)
15 Meira Kumar 4 June 2009 4 June 2014 5 years, 0 days 15th Indian National Congress
16 Sumitra Mahajan 5 June 2014 Incumbent 1 year, 251 days 16th Bharatiya Janata Party

Rajya Sabha

Rajya Sabha
राज्य सभा
Council of States
Type Upper House of the Parliament of India
Chairman Mohammad Hamid Ansari, Ind
Since 11 August 2007
Deputy Chairman P. J. Kurien, INC
Since 21 August 2012
Leader of the House Arun Jaitley, BJP
Since July 2014
Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad, INC
Since July 2014
Seats 245 total

·         234 Elected

·         8 Nominated

·         3 Vacant (1 Elected & 2 Nominated)
A maximum of 250 allowed in the constitution

Political groups Government coalition (64)

National Democratic Alliance(64)

·              BJP (48)

·              TDP (6)

·              Akali Dal (3)

·              Shiv Sena (3)

·              PDP (2)

·              RPI (Athavale) (1)

·              Bodoland People’s Fr. (1)

Other Parties (164)
United Progressive Alliance(69)

·              Congress (67)

·              Kerala Congress (M) (1)

·              Muslim League (1)

Janata Parivar parties (15)

·              JD(U) (12)

·              INLD (1)

·              JD(S) (1)

·              RJD (1)

Unaligned parties (79)

·              Samajwadi Party (15)

·              Anna DMK (12)

·              Trinamool Congress (12)

·              BSP (10)

·              CPI(M) (9)

·              BJD (7)

·              NCP (6)

·              DMK (4)

·              CPI (1)

·              JMM (1)

·              Sikkim Dem. Front (1)

·              TRS (1)

Nominated (8)
Independents (7)

Vacant (3)

Voting system Single transferable vote
Meeting place
Chamber of Rajya Sabha, Sansad Bhavan,
New Delhi, India

The Rajya Sabha or Council of States is the upper house of the Parliament of India. Membership of Rajya Sabha is limited by the Constitution to a maximum of 250 members, and current laws have provision for 245 members. Most of the members of the House are indirectly elected by state and territorial legislatures using single transferable votes, while the President of Indiacan appoint 12 members for their contributions to art, literature, science, and social services. Members sit for staggered six-year terms, with one third of the members retiring every two years.

The Rajya Sabha meets in continuous sessions, and unlike the Lok Sabha, the lower house of Parliament, is not subject to dissolution. The Rajya Sabha has equal footing in all areas of legislation with 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 can be held. However, since the Lok Sabha has twice as many members as the Rajya Sabha, the former would normally hold the greater power. Joint sittings of the Houses of Parliament of India are rare, and in the history of the Republic, only three such joint-sessions have been held; the latest one for the passage of the 2002 Prevention of Terrorism Act.

The Vice President of India (currently, Hamid Ansari) is the ex-officio Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, who presides over its sessions. The Deputy Chairman, who is elected from amongst the RS’s 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 The salary and other benefits for a member of Rajya Sabha are same as for a member of Lok Sabha.

Rajya Sabha members are elected by state legislatures rather than directly through the electorate by single transferable votemethod. Members sit in Rajya Sabha in Parliament House, New Delhi.


  • 1Qualifications
  • 2Limitations
    • 1Money bills
    • 2Joint Sitting of the Parliament
      • 2.1No-confidence motion
    • 3Powers
      • 1Union-States Relations
      • 2Creation of All-India Services
    • 4Membership and composition
      • 1Membership by party
    • 5Officers
      • 1Leader of the House
      • 2Leader of the Opposition (LOP)
      • 3Secretariat
    • 6Media


Article 84 of the Constitution lays down the qualifications for membership of Parliament. A member of the Rajya Sabha must.

Be a citizen of India

  • Make and subscribe before some person authorized in that behalf by the Election Commission an oath or affirmation according to the form set out for the purpose in the Third Schedule to the Constitution;
  • Be at least 30 years old;
  • Possess such other qualifications as may be prescribed in that behalf by or under any law made by Parliament.
  • Be elected by theLegislative Assembly of States and Union territories by means of Single transferable vote throughProportional representation.

In addition, twelve members are nominated by the President of India having special knowledge in various areas like Arts, Science etc. However they are not entitled to vote in Presidential elections as per Article 55 of the Indian Constitution.


The Constitution of India places some restrictions on Rajya Sabha which makes Lok Sabha more powerful in certain areas in comparison.

Money bills

Money bills, as defined in the Constitution of India Art. 110, can only be introduced in Lok Sabha. When Lok Sabha passes a money bill, and transmits it to Rajya Sabha, Rajya Sabha has only fourteen days to return the bill (with or without amendments) to Lok Sabha. If Rajya Sabha fails to return the bill in fourteen days, that bill is deemed to have passed by both the Houses. Also, if Lok Sabha rejects any (or all) of the amendments proposed by Rajya Sabha, the bill is deemed to have been passed by both Houses of Parliament in the form Lok Sabha finally passes it. Hence, Rajya Sabha cannot stall, or amend a money bill without Lok Sabha’s concurrence on the same.

Joint Sitting of the Parliament

Article 108 provides for a joint sitting of the two Houses of Parliament in certain cases. A joint sitting can be convened by the President of India when one house has either rejected a bill passed by the other house, has not taken any action on a bill transmitted to it by the other house for six months, or has disagreed to the amendments proposed by the other house on a bill passed by it. Considering that the strength of Lok Sabha is more than twice that of Rajya Sabha, Lok Sabha tends to have a greater influence in a joint sitting of Parliament. A joint session is chaired by the Speaker of Lok Sabha.Also, because the joint session is convened by the President on advice of the government, which already has a majority in Lok Sabha, the joint session is usually convened to get bills passed through a Rajya Sabha in which the government has a minority.

Joint sessions of Parliament are a rarity, and have been convened 3 times in last 60 years, latest in 2002:

  • 1961:Dowry Prohibition Act, 1958
  • 1978:Banking Services Commission (Repeal) Act, 1977
  • 2002:Prevention of Terrorism Act, 2002

No-confidence motion


Unlike the Lok Sabha, it cannot bring to the house, a motion of no confidence against the government.



In Indian federal structure, Rajya Sabha is a representative of the States in the Union legislature (Hence the name, Council of States). Hence, Rajya Sabha is granted powers that protect the rights of States against the Union.

Union-States Relations

The Constitution empowers Parliament of India to make laws on the matters reserved for States (States List). However, this can only be done if Rajya Sabha first passes a resolution by two-thirds special majority granting such a power to the Union Parliament. The union government cannot make a law on a matter reserved for states without an authorisation from Rajya Sabha.

Creation of All-India Services

Rajya Sabha, by a two-thirds super majority can pass a resolution empowering the Government of India to create more All-India Services common to both Union and States, including a judicial service.

Membership and composition

Seats are allotted in proportion to the population of each state or union territory in such a manner that smaller states have slight advantage over more populous states. In addition, smaller Union Territories which do not have legislatures do not have representation in Rajya Sabha. Hence, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Chandigarh,Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli do not send any representatives to Rajya Sabha.10 members + An additional 2 members are nominated by the President.

As per the Fourth Schedule to the Constitution of India on 26 January 1950, the Rajya Sabha was to consist of 216 members of which 12 members were to be nominated by the President and the remaining 204 elected to represent the States. The present strength, however, is 245 members of whom 233 are representatives of the States and Union territories and 12 are nominated by the President The twelve nominated members of the Rajya Sabha are persons who are eminent in particular fields, and are well known contributors in the particular field. A few examples of such nominated persons are cricketing icon Sachin Tendulkar, former RBI Governor Bimal Jalan and famous lyricist and poet Javed Akhtar. As of March 2014, each State or Union territory specified in the first column of the following table, there shall be allotted the number of seats specified in the second column thereof opposite to that State or that Union territory, as the case may be[



Name of State and Union Territory No. of Seats
Andhra Pradesh[12] 11
Arunachal Pradesh 1
Assam 7
Bihar 16
Chhattisgarh 5
Goa 1
Gujarat 11
Haryana 5
Himachal Pradesh 3
Jammu & Kashmir 4
Jharkhand 6
Karnataka 12
Kerala 9
Madhya Pradesh 11
Maharashtra 19
Manipur 1
Meghalaya 1
Mizoram 1
Nagaland 1
National Capital Territory (Delhi) 3
Nominated 12
Odisha 10
Pondicherry 1
Punjab 7
Rajasthan 10
Sikkim 1
Tamil Nadu 18
Telangana[12] 7
Tripura 1
Uttar Pradesh 31
Uttarakhand 3
West Bengal 16

See also List of members of the Rajya Sabha

Membership by party

Rajya Sabha Secretariat (as of 12 February 2016)

Alliances Party MP
National Democratic Alliance
Seats: 64
Bharatiya Janata Party 48
Telugu Desam Party 6
Shiromani Akali Dal 3
Shiv Sena 3
Jammu and Kashmir People’s Democratic Party 2
Republican Party of India (Athvale) 1
Bodoland People’s Front 1
United Progressive Alliance
Seats: 69
Indian National Congress 67
Kerala Congress (Mani) 1
Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) 1
Janata Parivar
Seats: 15
Janata Dal (United) 12
Indian National Lok Dal 1
Janata Dal (Secular) 1
Rashtriya Janata Dal 1
Other Parties
Seats: 79
Samajwadi Party 15
All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam 12
All India Trinamool Congress 12
Bahujan Samaj Party 10
Communist Party of India (Marxist) 9
Biju Janata Dal 7
Nationalist Congress Party 6
Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam 4
Communist Party of India 1
Jharkhand Mukti Morcha 1
Sikkim Democratic Front 1
Telangana Rashtra Samithi 1
Nominated 8
Independents 7
Vacant Seats 1 Elected seat & 2 Nominated seats 3
Total 245


Leader of the House

Besides the Chairman (Vice-President of India) and the Deputy Chairman, there is also a function called Leader of the House. This is a cabinet minister – the prime minister if he is a member of the House, or another nominated minister. The Leader has a seat next to the Chairman, in the front row.

The following people have been the Leader of the House in the Rajya Sabha:

No Name From To
1 Shri N. Gopalaswami Ayyangar May 1952 Feb. 1953
2 Shri Charu Chandra Biswas Feb. 1953 Nov. 1954
3 Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri Nov. 1954 March 1955
4 Shri Govind Ballabh Pant March 1955 Feb. 1961
5 Shri Hafiz Mohammad Ibrahim Feb. 1961 Aug. 1963
6 Shri Yashwantrao Chavan Aug. 1963 Dec. 1963
7 Shri Jaisukhlal Hathi Feb. 1964 March 1964
8 Shri Mahomadali Currim Chagla March 1964 Nov. 1967
9 Shri Jaisukhlal Hathi Nov. 1967 Nov. 1969
10 Shri Kodradas Kalidas Shah Nov. 1969 May 1971
11 Shri Uma Shankar Dikshit May 1971 Dec. 1975
12 Shri Kamlapati Tripathi Dec. 1975 March 1977
13 Shri L. K. Advani March 1977 Aug. 1979
14 Shri K.C. Pant Aug. 1979 Jan. 1980
15 Shri Pranab Mukherjee Jan. 1980 Dec. 1984
16 Shri V. P. Singh Dec. 1984 April 1987
17 Shri Narayan Dutt Tiwari April 1987 June 1988
18 Shri P. Shiv Shankar July 1988 Dec. 1989
19 Shri M. S. Gurupadaswamy Dec. 1989 Nov. 1990
20 Shri Yashwant Sinha Dec. 1990 June 1991
21 Shri Shankarrao Chavan July 1991 April 1996
22 Shri Sikander Bakht 20 May 1996 31 May 1996
23 Shri Inder Kumar Gujral June 1996 Nov. 1996
24 Shri H.D. Deve Gowda Nov. 1996 April 1997
25 Shri Inder Kumar Gujral April 1997 March 1998
26 Shri Sikander Bakht March 1998 Oct. 1999
27 Shri Jaswant Singh Oct. 1999 May 2004
28 Dr. Manmohan Singh June 2004 May 2014
29 Shri Arun Jaitley 26 May 2014 Present

Leader of the Opposition (LOP)

Main article: Leader of the Opposition (India)

Besides the Leader of the House, who is leading the majority, there is also a Leader of the Opposition – leading the minority parties. The function was only recognized in the Salary and Allowances of Leaders of the Opposition in Parliament Act 1977. This is commonly the leader of the largest minority party, and is recognized as such by the Chairman.

The following people have been the Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha:

No Name From To
1 Shri Shyam Nandan Mishra December 1969 March 1971
2 Shri M. S. Gurupadaswamy March 1971 April 1972
3 Shri Kamlapati Tripathi 30.3.1977 15.2.1978
4 Shri Bhola Paswan Shastri 24.2.1978 23.3.1978
5 Shri Kamlapati Tripathi 23.3.1978 2.4.1978
6 Shri Kamlapati Tripathi 18.4.1978 8.1.1980
7 Shri Lal Krishna Advani 21.1.1980 7.4.1980
8 Shri P. Shiv Shankar 18.12.1989 2.1.1991
9 Shri M. S. Gurupadaswamy 28.6.1991 21.7.1991
10 Shri S. Jaipal Reddy 22.7.1991 29.6.1992
11 Shri Sikander Bakht 7.7.1992 10.4.1996
12 Shri Sikander Bakht 10.4.1996 23.5.1996
13 Shri S. B. Chavan 23.5.1996 1.6.1996
14 Shri Sikander Bakht 1.6.1996 19.3.1998
15 Dr. Manmohan Singh 21.3.1998 21.5.2004
16 Shri Jaswant Singh 3.6.2004 4.7.2004
17 Shri Jaswant Singh 5.7.2004 16.5.2009
18 Shri Arun Jaitley 3.6.2009 26.5.2014
19 Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad 8.6.2014 Present


The Secretariat of Rajya Sabha was set up pursuant to the provisions contained in Article 98 of the Constitution. The said Article, which provides for a separate secretarial staff for each House of Parliament, reads as follows:- 98. Secretariat of Parliament -Each House of Parliament shall have a separate secretarial staff: Provided that nothing in this clause shall be construed as preventing the creation of posts common to both Houses of Parliament. (2) Parliament may by law regulate the recruitment and the conditions of service of persons appointed to the secretarial staff of either House of Parliament.

The Rajya Sabha Secretariat functions under the overall guidance and control of the Chairman. The main activities of the Secretariat inter alia include the following :-

(i) providing secretarial assistance and support to the effective functioning of the Council of States (Rajya Sabha)ssible to Members of Rajya Sabha;

(iv) servicing the various Parliamentary Committees;

(v) preparing research and reference material and bringing out various publications;

(vi) recruitment of manpower in the Sabha Secretariat and attending to personnel matters; and

(vii) preparing and publishing a record of the day-to-day proceedings of the Rajya Sabha and bringing out such other publications, as may be required concerning the functioning of the Rajya Sabha and its Committees.

In the discharge of his constitutional and statutory responsibilities, the Chairman, Rajya Sabha is assisted by the Secretary-General, who holds the rank equivalent to the Cabinet Secretary to the Government of India. The Secretary-General, in turn, is assisted by senior functionaries at the level of Secretary, Additional Secretary, Joint Secretary and other officers and staff of the Secretariat.


Rajya Sabha Television (RSTV) is a 24×7 parliamentary TV channel fully owned and operated by the Rajya Sabha. The channel is aimed at providing in-depth coverage and analysis of parliamentary affairs especially the functioning of and developments related to Rajya Sabha. During sessions of Parliament, apart from telecasting live coverage of the proceedings of Rajya Sabha, RSTV presents incisive analysis of the proceedings of the House as well as other day-to-day parliamentary events and developments.[