Table of Contents
India is mentioned as a Union of States. It implies that there is a Union Government and several State Governments. And similar to that of parliament, they too have two houses of the state legislature and a state executive.
Two houses of the state legislature
Two houses of the state legislature are the legislative assembly and legislative council.
The Legislative Assembly (Vidhan Sabha) is present in every State. It acts for the people of the State. The members of Vidhan Sabha are directly elected by voters on the basis of universal adult franchise. Members are elected from regional constituencies. Every State is separated into as many (single member) constituencies as the sum of members to be elected. As in the case of Lok Sabha, a certain number of positions are reserved for Scheduled Castes, and in some States for Scheduled Tribes also. This is influenced by the population of these weaker sections in the State. To become a Member of legislative Assembly a person must
- be a citizen of India
- age of 25 years or above
- should have the name on voters’ list
- should not take up any office of profit
The number of legislative Assembly members should not be above 500 and not less than 60. However, very tiny States are permitted to have a smaller number of members. Thus, Goa has only 40 members in its Assembly while Uttar Pradesh has 403 seats in the Assembly. The occupancy of the legislative Assembly is 5 years. But the Governor has the power to dissolve it before the end of its tenure on the instruction of the Chief Minister. It may be dissolved by the President in case of a constitutional emergency (Article 356) of the Constitution. When the national emergency is declared (Article 352) the Parliament can prolong the tenure of the Legislative Assemblies for a time not exceeding 1 year at a time.
The members of the Legislative Assembly elect their presiding officer known as the Speaker. The Speaker presides over the summits of the House and oversees its proceedings. He keeps order in the House, permits the members to speak or make enquiries. He puts bills and other procedures to vote and publicizes the outcome of the voting. The Speaker does not usually vote on the occasion of voting. However, he may use a casting vote in the instance of a tie. A tie denotes that identical numbers of members have voted for and against a bill. To break the tie, casting vote is done. The Deputy Speaker presides over the conference during the nonattendance of the Speaker. He is also chosen by the Assembly from among its members.
Vidhan Parishad, like Rajya Sabha, is the upper House of the State Legislature. It is not present in every State. Very few States have a bicameral Legislature. The Parliament can fashion a Legislative council in a state where it is not present, if the Legislative Assembly of the State permits a motion to this effect by a majority of the total membership of the Assembly and by a majority of not less than two-thirds of the members of the Assembly present and voting, and directs the decision to the Parliament. Likewise, if a State Assembly wants its council ended, it may approve a decision by an above-discussed majority and direct it to Parliament. In this circumstance Parliament take measures to end the involved Legislative Council.
By the Constitution, the entire number of members in the Legislative council of a State must not be above one-third of the whole number of members of the Legislative council but should not be less than 40.
To be a member of the Legislative Council the individual must
- be a citizen of India
- age of 30 years or above
- the name should be in the voters’ list of the State
- not occupy any office of profit.
The Legislative council is partially elected and partially nominated. Most members are indirectly elected in agreement with the code of proportional representation by the process of a single transferable vote system. Various groups of members embody different interests. The structure of the Legislative Council is as follows:
- One-third of candidates are elected by the members of the legislative assembly.
- One-third of the members are elected by the electorates comprising of members of Municipalities, District Boards and other local institutions in the State.
- One-twelfth members are elected by the graduates in the State with a standing of three years.
- One-twelfth members are elected by the teachers of educational institutions in the State (starts from secondary school, should have teaching experience of at least three years)
- The one-sixth members are nominated by the Governor from among the individuals having distinct knowledge in the domain of literature, science, arts, co-operative movement and social service.
- The Legislative council is a permanent House and hence never dissolved. The occupancy of its members is six years. One-third of its members step down after every 2 years. The retiring members are qualified for re-election. If there is a vacancy rising out of resignation or death, the election is conducted for the remaining time of such a member’s tenure.
The presiding officer of the Legislative Council is the Chairman. He is elected by its members. The business of the Legislative council is directed by the Chairman. He presides over the sessions and upholds discipline and order in the House. Apart from his vote as a member, he can use his casting vote in case of a tie. In his absence, Deputy Chairman presides over the House. He is also elected by the members from amongst themselves.
The State executive consists of the governor, chief minister and the council of ministers
By to the Constitution of India, there should be a Governor for every State. If necessary, one person can be Governor for even 2 or more States. The executive authority of every State is bestowed on the Governor. The Governor of a State is appointed by the President of India. There is no ban on the re-appointment of a Governor (in the same State or in different States). To become a Governor an individual must be
- a citizen of India.
- at least 35 years
- cannot hold any office of profit during tenure.
If a member of either House of Parliament or the Legislature of any State, or a member of the National or State Council of Ministers, is appointed as Governor, he or she ceases to be a member of the Legislature or the Council of Ministers.
The Governor is chosen for a tenure of 5 years but normally holds office during the pleasure of the President. He or she may resign before the end of his or her tenure, or the President may dismiss him or her sooner. In truth, when it comes to appointing or removing the Governor, the President follows the Prime Minister’s advice. He or she is permitted to live at the Raj Bhawan, which is a rent-free house. The legislation specifies his or her emoluments, allowances, and privileges. During his tenure, however, the Governor’s emoluments and allowances cannot be lowered.
The Chief Minister
A Council of Ministers exists in each state to assist and advise the Governor in carrying out his duties. The State’s government is led by the Chief Minister. At the state level, the Council of Ministers, led by the Chief Minister, has real authority.
Formation of the Council of Ministers
The Governor appoints the Chief Minister. The Governor appoints the Chief Minister based on who has the most support in the State Legislative Assembly (Vidhan Sabha). On the advice of the Chief Minister, the Governor appoints the other Ministers. Ministers who serve on the Council of Ministers must be members of one of the two Houses of the State legislature. A minister who is not a member of the State legislature may be appointed, but if he or she is not elected to the State legislature within six months of his or her appointment, he or she loses his or her office. The Governor, on the suggestion of the Chief Minister, assigns portfolios to members of the Council of Ministers.
The state legislature and state executive in the Indian constitution
Below given are some articles that are related to the state legislature and state executive
|Article 153||· provides for every State to have a Governor
· • The 7th Constitution Amendment Act of 1956 included a provision under Article 153 that allows the same person to serve as Governor of two states at the same time.
|Article 155||Appointment of governor|
|Article 156||Tenure and removal of the governor|
|Article 157||Qualification of governor|
|Article 158||Conditions of governor’s office|
|Article 159||Oath of governor|
|Article 174(2)(b)||Governor may dissolve the Legislative Assembly from time to time.|
Indian polity is an important part of the syllabus of SSC, TNPSC, KPSC, RRB etc. Download The Entri app to learn more about other subjects of Indian polity.