Former prime minister Manmohan Singh may have to sit out of the Rajya Sabha for some time till a sitting Congress member resigns after being elected to the Lok Sabha, as his term comes to an end this June. Singh has been a five-time Rajya Sabha member and his current six-year term ends on June 14.
The Election Commission has announced elections on June 7 to fill the two Rajya Sabha seats from Assam, one of which is represented by Singh and the other by Santiuse Kujur, also a Congress member.
The Congress does not have the required numbers in Assam to get Singh re-elected to the Rajya Sabha as the BJP is in power in the state. There is speculation that the BJP may offer one of the seats falling vacant to Union minister and ally LJP leader Ram Vilas Paswan, who is not contesting the Lok Sabha elections this time.
Sources say if the party decides to give Manmohan Singh another term, he will have to be adjusted from among the seats falling vacant after some of its Rajya Sabha members win in the general elections.
Six Rajya Sabha seats are falling vacant in July from Tamil Nadu, where the DMK may offer one of the seats to Singh, in case the party wants. Otherwise, he may have to wait till April 2020 when 55 seats in various states will fall vacant and the Congress will get some of them.
To fill up the two vacancies, the commission has announced biennial election on June 7, for which a notification will be issued on May 21. The counting of votes will be held on the evening of June 7, an hour after the polling concludes at 4 pm. Rajya Sabha members are elected by a method of indirect election.
They are elected by the members of the legislative assembly of that state in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote.