State Legislature – Governor, Legislative Assembly, Legislative Council

Legislative Council → Only for 7 states

Article 171 of the Constitution of India provides for the establishment of a Vidhan Parishad. The Vidhan Parishad or Legislative Council is the upper house in those states of India that have a bicameral legislature. As of 2017, seven  states have a Legislative Council.

  • Karnataka
  • Uttar Pradesh
  • Maharashtra
  • Bihar
  • J & K
  • Andhra Pradesh
  • Telangana


Legislative Councils (Vidhan Parishad)

  • Power of abolition or creation of Legislative council lies with parliament
  • If legislative assembly of state passes a resolution by a majority of total membership & not less than 2/3rd of the members of the assembly present & voting, Parliament may or may not approve the resolution with simple majority
  • A resolution passed by legislative assembly of state for creation or abolition of its council is not binding on parliament

Composition of Legislative council

1/3rd Elected by electorates consisting of members of municipalities, District boards & other local authorities in state
1/3rd Elected by members of legislative assembly of state from amongst persons who are not member of assembly
1/6th Nominated by governor ( From fields of art, science, literature, social science & cooperative movements)
1/12th Elected from graduates of 3 years, residing in that state
1/12th Elected by persons engaged in teaching for not less than 3 years in educational institutions within the state, not lower than secondary school


  • Strength Not more than 1/3rd of legislative assembly, but can not be less than 40 (Except J & K – 36)
  • Legislative council is a permanent body (term 6 years) & not subjected to dissolution
  • After every 2 years, 1/3rd of its members retire, However, retiring members are subjected to re-election & re-nomination


Legislative Assembly (Vidhan Sabha)

  • Flexible membership from 60 – 500 members; however in Sikkim, Mizoram & Goa, they are limited to a minimum of 40 members only
  • Chosen directly by the people on the basis of adult franchise
  • Seats are reserved for SCs & STs on the basis of their population
  • 1 member can be nominated by Governor from Anglo Indian community
  • Duration 5 years but may be dissolved earlier by the governor
  • 42nd amendment increased assembly official term to 6 years but 44th amendment restored it to 5 years
  • During proclamation of national emergency, life of assembly may be extended by an act of parliament for a period of not more than 1 year at a time , but in no case beyond a period of 6 months, after proclamation of national emergency has ceased to operate


Membership Qualification

  • Must be citizen of India
  • Must be of 25 years of age for Legislative Assembly & 30 years for Legislative Council
  • Must not hold any office of profit
  • Must not be of unsound mind


If a situation arises for disqualification of a member, Decision of Governor shall be final (Governor must obtain opinion of election commission of India prior to action)

“All powers, provisions, sessions etc. is same as in case of Lok Sabha & Rajya Sabha at center”


Legislative Procedure in State Legislature

Unicameral type of government

  • All bills originate in single chamber i.e. legislative assembly
  • When passed are presented to governor for his assent

Bicameral type of government

  • If legislative assembly rejects a bill, originated in Legislative council, then it is the end of the bill
  • Procedure of money bill is same as in parliament
  • In case of Financial or ordinary bill, if it is passed by legislative assembly, It is sent to legislative council, where if it


  • Reject the bill
  • Suggest amendment to the bill not acceptable to legislative assembly
  • Does not act upon the bill for 3 months


  • Then it is referred back to legislative assembly, If legislative assembly passes the bill for the 2nd time, it is retransmitted legislative council, where


  • At the expiry of 1 month period
  • Bill rejected outright
  • Bill passed with amendments not acceptable to legislative assembly


  • Then, bill is deemed to have been passed by both the houses & sent to governor for his assent


There is no provision of joint sitting of state legislature to remove a deadlock, as upper house does not enjoy equal powers with lower house & can not amend a bill on its own

“Privileges, Immunities, Committees etc. are same as Parliament”
India Yearbook English India Yearbook Hindi Economic Survey 2017

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