ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Diminishing the Role of Parliament: The Case of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill

On 5 August 2019, Home Minister Amit Shah introduced the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill in the Rajya Sabha amid flagrant violations of rules and procedures. Thus, lawmakers voted on and eventually passed a bill that they did not get a fair chance to read, analyse or discuss.

No Country for Transgenders?

More than a year after the historic passage of the Rights of Transgender Persons Bill, 2014 in the Rajya Sabha, attacks on the lives and dignity of transgender persons continue with impunity. The lack of political will is clear as the government attempts to push for a heavily diluted legislation in place of the Rajya Sabha-sanctioned long-suffering community.

Calcutta Diary

If the law pinches, just abolish the law. Indian politicians are about to do just that. Legislation is on the anvil to abolish the nasty provision requiring that those wanting to get elected to the Rajya Sabha from a particular state must be 'ordinarily resident' in that state. Once that happens, the states doing poorly would continue to fall behind, no 'pork barrels' to help them out; the members they would elect to the Rajya Sabha would belong to the species of carpet-baggers, without any sense of loyalty to the electing states, and no prick of conscience to bother them either.

Karnataka: Businessmen as Party Leaders

During the licence-permit raj, wealth creation being stigmatised in the public eye, the politician-businessman nexus operated behind the scene. But now successful businessmen owning huge enterprises, like Vijay Mallya and Vijay Sankeshwar, are making inroads into politics and even floating new political arrangements and parties. How will this affect the fortunes of established parties in the state?

Utility of the Rajya Sabha

In several instances, the role of the Rajya Sabha has been reduced to an irrelevant adjunct of the Lok Sabha. While this may not have been the intention of the constituent assembly, the Rajya Sabha, as this article argues, needs to be recast in the light of present-day imperatives.

Election to Rajya Sabha: Proposed 'Reform'

The government is seeking to introduce amendments to the law on election of members to the Rajya Sabha by proposing open vote instead of the present secret ballot and allowing candidates to contest from any part of the country, by scrapping the 'ordinary resident' clause. While the latter proposal has met with some criticism, it is necessary to clear the confusion by drawing on the experience of the past 50 years.

Calcutta Diary

The two amendments proposed to the Representation of the Peoples Act requiring open voting by members of state assemblies while electing members of the Rajya Sabha and dispensing with the residential provision for election to the Rajya Sabha are an invocation of, and tribute to, national corruption.
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