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How Private Bills Can Impact Changes to the Constitution’s Preamble

Constitution's Preamble

The Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha stated that the decision to consider a private member’s bill proposing changes to the Constitution’s Preamble rests with the members of the House. The Chair is unable to make a ruling on this matter.

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A member of the Rajya Sabha, K.J. Alphons, has proposed a Private Member bill aiming to change the term “Socialist” to “Equitable” in the Preamble. Alphons argues that the term “socialist” holds political associations and historical significance that may not resonate with a significant portion of the Indian population.

1. Opposition Members Disapprove Introduction of Bill: Opposition members in the Rajya Sabha voiced their disagreement with the proposal to introduce a new bill on a particular subject. They argued that the Preamble of the Constitution is a fundamental and unalterable part of the Constitution’s structure. They raised concerns that introducing such a bill might not be permissible.

2. Reference to Rule 62 (2) of the Rules of Procedure: The opposition members also made reference to Rule 62 (2) in the Rules of Procedure. They contended that a bill of this nature, lacking the prior approval or recommendation of the President, cannot be presented in the House under these rules.

3. Deputy Chairman’s Response: In response to these objections, the Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha clarified that a bill aimed at amending the Preamble of the Constitution could indeed be introduced if the majority of the House supported the idea. However, he emphasized that it was beyond his authority to unilaterally introduce such a bill.

4. Past Instances of Private Members’ Bills: It’s worth noting that there have been previous instances in which private members introduced bills aimed at amending the Preamble of the Constitution. This indicates that the topic has been a subject of discussion and legislative proposals in the past.

Private Member’s Bill

A Member of Parliament (MP) who isn’t a government minister is called a private member. When these private members introduce bills, they are known as Private Member’s Bills.

Preamble of the Constitution

The Preamble serves as an opening statement that outlines the Constitution’s goals and intentions. It’s an integral part of the Constitution itself. Article 368 of the Constitution grants Parliament the authority to modify, add, change, or remove any part of the Constitution through the use of its constituent power. To do this, a bill with the proposed amendments can be introduced in either house of Parliament.


The debates in the Rajya Sabha regarding the proposed change from ‘socialist’ to ‘equitable’ in the Constitution’s Preamble are of great significance. These discussions offer a platform for Members of Parliament to voice their thoughts and concerns, contributing to the development of policies. This allows our elected representatives to represent the interests of their constituents and plays a crucial role in scrutinizing, overseeing, and holding the government accountable. One of the primary functions of parliament is to critically examine and question the government’s actions through debates and questioning ministers. These discussions also play a vital role in shaping better policies by incorporating diverse perspectives and aiding in well-informed decision-making.

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