State Legislature of India – Notes GK

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State Legislature of India has three pats, Governors/Lieutenant Governors of India, State Legislative Councils, and State Legislative Assemblies.State legislature is a bicameral system, however many states have only unicameral system.

State Legislature of India UPS Notes

Most Indian states have a bicameral legislature, meaning they have two houses – the Legislative Assembly (Vidhan Sabha) and the Legislative Council (Vidhan Parishad). State Legislature of India is an important topic for aspirants preparing for UPSC or IAS exams. Here in this article, a detailed analysis is provided.

Chapter III of Part VI of the Constitution deals with the State Legislature. It is composed of the governor and the state legislature. The organization, membership, tenure, offices and officers, procedures, privileges, and powers of the state legislature are covered in Part VI of the Constitution.

The normal term of a State Legislative Assembly is five years unless dissolved earlier. The Tenth Schedule of the Indian Constitution, also known as the Anti-Defection Law, applies to state legislatures.

What is a Unicameral State in India?

A unicameral state is a political system in which there is only one legislative house (one central unit) responsible for making and passing laws.

In a unicameral state, there is no second legislative house like Rajya Sabha.

What is a Bicameral State in India?

A bicameral state has two separate houses for making and passing laws. These are the Legislative Assembly (Vidhan Sabha) and the Legislative Council (Vidhan Parishad).

Abolition of Creation of Legislative Councils

The creation or abolition of Legislative Councils in Indian states is governed by Article 169. According to this article, a Legislative Council may be created or abolished in a state through the following process:

  1. The State Legislative Assembly typically passes a resolution by a special majority. This requires support from at least two-thirds of the total Assembly members present and voting.
  2. After passing the resolution by the Legislative Assembly, it is forwarded to the Governor of the state.
  3. The Governor then submits the resolution to the President for consideration. The President may either approve or withhold his/her assent.
  4. The resolution is discussed In Parliament and voted upon. It must be approved by a simple majority in both houses.
  5. If both houses of Parliament approve, the resolution is sent back to the President for final assent.
  6. If the President gives their assent, the resolution becomes effective.

Legislative Assembly (Vidhan Sabha)

The Legislative Assembly, or the Vidhan Sabha, is the lower house of the state legislature. Each state in India has its own Legislative Assembly, except for the union territories.

Composition of the Legislative Assembly:

  • The Legislative Assembly is composed of Members known as (MLAs).
  • MLAs are directly elected by voters through elections.
  • The number of MLAs varies from state to state.
  • Each MLA represents a specific constituency in a state.
  • Article 170 sets a minimum limit on the number of seats. It should not be less than 60 and it does not specify a maximum limit.
  • Article 334 allows the reservation of seats for (SCs) and (STs).

Functions and Powers:

  • making and passing laws in the state.
  • discusses and approves the budget and financial issues.
  • overseeing and scrutinizing the activities of the state.


  • Sessions are presided over by a Speaker.
  • There are three sessions in a year: the Budget Session, the Monsoon Session, and the Winter Session.
  • The sessions are convened, prorogued, and dissolved by the Governor.

Lawmaking Process:

  • It involves the introduction of bills, debates, committee reviews, and voting.
  • Bills can be introduced by ministers or other members, and they go through multiple readings before becoming law.
  • The passage of a bill requires a majority vote in the Legislative Assembly.


  • The Public Accounts Committee, the Estimates Committee, and others are formed within the Legislative Assembly to examine distinct issues, review policies, and ensure transparency and accountability.

Anti-Defection Law:

  • The Tenth Schedule of the Indian Constitution, also known as the Anti-Defection Law, applies to the Legislative Assembly. It disqualifies legislators who defect from their party and vote against the party’s whip in certain situations.

Role in Electing Members to the Rajya Sabha:

  • The Legislative Assembly also plays a role in the election of members to the Rajya Sabha (the upper house of the Indian Parliament) from the respective state.

Legislative Council (Vidhan Parishad)

The Legislative Council or Vidhan Parishad, is the upper house of the state legislature in six states of India: Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Telangana, and Uttar Pradesh. It is a permanent body, unlike the Legislative Assembly, which is dissolved every five years.

Composition of the Legislative Council: Article 171 specifies that the Legislative Council of a state shall not have more than one-third of the total number of members of the Legislative Assembly (Vidhan Sabha) of that state.

Members of local entities like municipalities and district boards would make up the electorates that would choose one-third of the Council members.

Electorates made up of residents of the State who have been for at least three years either graduates of any university located within the territory of India or who have been for at least three years in possession of qualifications recognized by or under any law made by Parliament as being equivalent to that of a graduate of any such university shall elect one twelfth, as nearly as possible;

Electorates made up of people who have been employed as teachers for at least three years in educational institutions within the State that are not lower in standard than a secondary school are required to elect one-twelfth of the members, as nearly as possible;

the Legislative Assembly of the State shall elect, as nearly as possible, one-third of its members from among those who are not Assembly members;

The governor will propose the remaining candidates in compliance with the clause’s provisions.

Functions and Powers of the Legislative Council (Vidhan Parishad):

  • to review and revise bills passed by the Legislative Assembly (Vidhan Sabha)
  • It provides a forum for debate and discussion on various issues, such as legislative proposals, state policies, and public importance.
  • Money bills must be introduced in the Legislative Assembly.

Comparison: Legislative Council Vs. Legislative Assembly

#Legislative CouncilLegislative Assembly
Qualifications» Must be a citizen of India.
» Must be at least 30 years old.
» Should not hold a lucrative position in any corner of the government.
» Name should be on the Voter list anywhere in the state.
» There should be qualifications in the corners declared by the Parliament.
» Must be a citizen of India.
» At least 25 years old.
» No government profitable person should be allowed in any corner.
» Name must be included In the voter list of any state.
Selection Procedures» Indirect selection and nomination.
» 1/3 of the members are elected by the municipality, district board and other autonomous bodies,
» Members of the Legislative Assembly elect 1/3 of the members,
» Graduates elect 1/12 members,
» 1/1 2 part members are elected by the teachers,
» The Governor nominated the remaining 1/6 of the members.
» Direct election on the basis of universal adult suffrage.
» The Governor may nominate one of the Anglo-Indian community as required.
Duration» It is a Permanent house.
» One-third of the members retire every two years.
» The term of office of each member is six years.
» 5 years.
» Even before that, the governor can dissolve the assembly on the advice of the chief minister.
Minimum and Maximum members» Shall not be less than 40 and shall not exceed 1/3 of the number of members of the Legislative Assembly of that State.» Not less than 60 or more than 500.
» Although 32 in Sikkim, 40 in Mizoram, 30 in Arunachal Pradesh and 30 in Goa.
Power Function» Both houses may enact legislation on state-listed and joint-listed matters.
» Both houses may establish control over the governing authority of the State.
» The money bill can be raised only in the assembly.
» Only the legislature can remove the state cabinet.
» The elected representatives in the assembly vote for the presidential election.
» The Legislative Assembly can create or dissolve with the support of a majority of 1/3 of the legislature.
» Apart from the above, both the chambers can legislate on state-listed matters and establish control over the state governing authority.
Differences between Legislative Council & Legislative Assembly

Summary of State Legislature of India

  • 01. The state legislature consists of three parts, namely the Legislative Assembly, the Legislative Council and the Governor.
  • 02. The governor is an integral part of the state legislature. Being ‘bicameral’, the legislature is also called the ‘Bi-Cameralism System’.
  • 03. But the Legislative Assembly of West Bengal is not bicameral. In 1969, the Legislative Assembly was abolished from West Bengal.
  • 04. However, some states have bicameral legislatures. The states with bicameral legislatures are Telangana, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Maharashtra and Bihar.
  • 05. The legislatures of the remaining 22 states have a unicameral system.
  • 06. Article 171 of the Constitution deals with the composition of the Legislative Assembly.
  • 07. The Legislative Council is a permanent house. It cannot be completely abolished. One-third of its members retire every two years. New members are elected in all those seats. However, retirees can be re-elected. The term of office of its members is 6 years.
  • 08. The abolition of the Legislative Assembly is mentioned in Article 169 of the Constitution.
  • 09. The total number of members in the West Bengal Legislative Assembly is 295. The number of elected members is 294. 1 member is nominated by the Governor from the Anglo-Indian community. (Section 333).
  • 10. The removal of the President and Vice-President of the Legislative Assembly is mentioned in Article 183.
  • 11. Of the 294 Assembly seats in undivided Andhra Pradesh, 119 are in Telangana and 175 in the rest of Andhra Pradesh. Both states have bicameral legislatures. The number of seats in the Legislative Assembly is 40 and 50 in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh respectively.

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