New Delhi, March 5 (IANS) Most ministers — 12 of the 25 cabinet ministers — in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet are Rajya Sabha members with few of them entering the Upper House after losing in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
The heavyweight ministers who are Rajya Sabha members include, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, Railways Minister Piyush Goyal, Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar, Health Minister J.P. Nadda, Civil Aviation and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu and Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan.
Besides, Textiles Minister Smriti Irani, Social Justice Minister Thaawarchand Gehlot, Steel Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh and Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi too are members of the Upper House.
Of these, Jaitley and Irani lost the 2014 Lok Sabha polls and were later elected to the Rajya Sabha.
M. Venkaiah Naidu, who was the Union Urban Development Minister before his election as the Vice-President of India, was also a member of the Rajya Sabha.
A minister has to be a member of the Lok Sabha or the Rajya Sabha. A person has to contest elections to get into Parliament within six months of their induction into the ministry.
While the Lok Sabha members are elected directly by the people, the Rajya Sabha members are elected through indirect election in which members of the state legislative assemblies cast votes.
The election to the Rajya Sabha is easier as the party having the majority in an Assembly can easily send its candidates to the Upper House.
However, according to sources, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) may ask most its ministers to contest the Lok Sabha elections this time.