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Indian Polity

Giving all States, irrespective of their population and size, an equal number of seats in the Rajya Sabha and all members, irrespective of their parties’ strength in the House, the same amount of time to speak in debates were among the suggestions made by members during a discussion of the role of the Upper House on Monday.

During the discussion held on the role and future of the Rajya Sabha on the occasion of its 250th session, several members called for equitable representation. Ram Gopal Yadav of the Samajwadi Party said all States should have perhaps six each. The northeastern States, he said, did not have enough representation. He said the House should also be able to discuss matters related to judiciary.

Prasanna Acharya of the Biju Janata Dal too said population should not be the basis for deciding representation.

In response to former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s charge that only 25% of Bills in the 16th Lok Sabha were referred to committees as opposed to 71% and 60% in the previous two Lok Sabhas, BJP’s Bhupender Yadav said while 17 Bills had been referred to committees in the past five years, only five had been from 2009 till 2014.

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