THE NEW Congress government in Punjab will not be able to send any person to the Rajya Sabha in its tenure of five years till February 2022 because the term of the present Rajya Sabha MPs from the state will continue till April and June 2022. Punjab Legislative Assembly sends seven Rajya Sabha members from the state but all seven were elected in April and June 2016 in the last year of the SAD-BJP government in power and since the term of a Rajya Sabha MP is for six years, no vacancy will arise during the term of the Congress government.
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At present, there are three Rajya Sabha MPs from Shiromani Akali Dal, three from Congress and one from BJP.
These are Shamsher Singh Dullo, Partap Singh Bajwa and Ambika Soni from Congress, Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Naresh Gujral and Balwinder Singh Bhunder from SAD and Shwait Malik from BJP. Balwinder Singh Bhunder and Ambika Soni were elected in June 2016 and the rest in April 2016.
Speaking to The Indian Express, senior AAP leader, HS Phoolka, who had raised the issue of anomalies in Rajya Sabha elections in 2016, said there was a flaw in the system due to which all members were being elected in the same year.
“The system demands that two members should retire each year. But when there was militancy in Punjab and there was no elected Assembly in Punjab, no member could be sent and later, all were sent at the time with a term of two, four and six years, respectively. However, a notification was later issued, giving all a term of six years. This is wrong as one-third should retire each year,” he added.