Member of the Legislative Assembly (India)

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A Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) is a representative elected by the voters of an electoral district (constituency) to the legislature of the State government in the Indian system of government. Each state has between seven and nine MLAs for every Member of Parliament (MP) that it has in the Lok Sabha, the lower house of India's bicameral parliament. There are also members in two unicameral legislatures in Union Territories: the Delhi Legislative Assembly and Puducherry Legislative Assembly.

State legislature

In states where there are two houses there is a Legislative Council and a Legislative Assembly. In such a case, the Legislative Council is the Upper House, while Legislative Assembly is the Lower House of the State Legislature.

The Governor shall not be a member of the Legislature or Parliament, shall not hold any office of profit, and shall be entitled to emoluments and allowances. (Article 158 of Indian constitution).

The Legislative Assembly consists of not more than 500 members and not fewer than 60. The biggest state, Uttar Pradesh, has 403 members in its Assembly. States which have small populations and are small in size have a provision for having an even lesser number of members in the Legislative Assembly. Puducherry has 30 members. Mizoram and Goa have only 40 members each. Sikkim has 32. All members of the Legislative Assembly are elected on the basis of adult franchise, and one member is elected from one constituency. Just as the President has the power to nominate two Anglo Indians to the Lok Sabha, similarly, the Governor has the power to nominate one member[1] from the Anglo Indian community as he/she deems fit, if he/she is of the opinion that they are not adequately represented in the Assembly.

Qualification

The qualifications to become a member of the state Legislature are largely similar to the qualifications to be a member of Parliament. A person should be i) a citizen of India ii) not less than 25 years of age[2] to be a member of the Legislative Assembly and not less than 30 years as per Article 173 of Indian Constitution to be a member of the Legislative Council.

No person can become a member of the Legislative Assembly or the Legislative Council of any state, unless the individual is a voter from any constituency of the state. Those who cannot become members of Parliament also cannot become members of the state legislature.

The member is elected by the people of that particular constituency and represents those people in the legislative assembly and debates on issues related to his or her constituency. The MLA's position is like an MP, but the difference is only that MLA is in the state level and the MP is in the national level.

Term

The term of the Legislative Assembly is five years. However, it may be dissolved earlier than that by the Governor on the request of the Chief Minister. The term of the Legislative Assembly may be extended during an emergency, but not more than six months at a time. The Legislative Council is the Upper House in the State. Just like the Rajya Sabha it is a permanent House. The members of the state's upper house are selected based on the strength of each party in the lower house and by state gubernatorial nomination. The term of is six years, and a third of the members of the House retire after every two years. The upper house of a state assembly, unlike the Upper house of the Parliament, can be abolished by the lower house, if it passes a specific law bill, which states to dissolve the upper house, and gets it attested in both houses of parliament and then signed by the president into law. Only Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Telangana, and Uttar Pradesh have their upper houses in existence with 6 year term, J&K also has 6 year term lower house. All other states have abolished the upper house by the above-mentioned method, as the upper house causes unnecessary problems and issues.

Powers

The most important function of the legislature is law making. The State Legislature has the power to make laws on all items on which Parliament cannot legislate. Some of these items are police, prisons, irrigation, agriculture, local governments, public health, pilgrimages, and burial grounds. Some topics on which both Parliament and states can make laws are education, marriage and divorce, forests, and the protection of wild animals and birds.

As regards money bills, the position is the same. Bills can originate only in the Legislative Assembly. The Legislative Council can either pass the bill within 14 days of the date of the receipt of the Bill or suggest changes in it within 14 days. These changes may or may not be accepted by the Assembly.

The state legislature, besides making laws, has one electoral power, in electing the President of India. Elected members of the Legislative Assembly along with the elected members of Parliament are involved in this process.

Some parts of the Constitution can be amended by Parliament with the approval of half of state legislatures. Thus the state legislatures take part in the process of amendment of the Constitution.

MLA party memberships as of 10 February 2018

State name Total INC BJP Leftists Socialist NDA Others Ind. Vacant
Andhra Pradesh 175 4 TDP 125 YSRCP 46
Arunachal Pradesh 60 1 48 PPA 9 2
Assam 126 25 61 AGP 14, BPF 12 AIUDF 13 1
Bihar 243 27 52 CPI-ML 3 RJD 79 JDU 71, LJP 2, RLSP 2, HAM 1 4 2
Chhattisgarh 90 39 49 BSP 1 1
Goa 40 16 14 MGP 3, GFP 3 NCP 1 3
Gujarat 182 77 99 NCP 1, BTP 2 3
Haryana 90 17 47 INLD 19 SAD 1 BSP 1 5
Himachal Pradesh 68 21 44 CPM 1 2
Jammu & Kashmir 87 12 25 CPM 1 PDP 28, JKPC 2 NC 15, PDF 1 3
Jharkhand 81 7 43 CPI-ML 1, MCC 1 JMM 19, JBSP 1 AJSU 4 JVM(P) 2, BSP 1, JP 1, NSM 1
Karnataka 224 124 44 JDS 39 BSRC 3, KJP 2, KMP 1, SKP 1 9 1
Kerala 140 22 1 CPM 58, CPI 19, CMP(KSC) 1, RSP(L) 1, C(S) 1, NSC 1, KCB 1 JDS 3 IUML 18, KCM 6, KCJ 1, NCP 2, 5
Madhya Pradesh 230 55 166 BSP 4 3 2
Maharashtra 288 42 122 PWPI 3, CPM 1 SS 63, RSP 1 NCP 41, BVA 3, AIMIM 2, MNS 1, BBM 1 7 1
Manipur 60 19 31 NPF 4 NPP 4, LJP 1 1
Meghalaya 60 24 2 UDP 7, HSPDP 4, NPP 2 NCP 2, NESDP 1 9 9
Mizoram 40 34 MNF 5 MPC 1
Nagaland 60 4 NPF 46, JDU 1 NCP 1 8
Odisha 147 15 10 CPM 1 BJD 117, SKD 1 2 1
Punjab 117 77 3 SAD 14 AAP 20, LIP 2 1
Rajasthan 200 25 160 NPP 4 BSP 2, NUZP 2 7
Sikkim 32 SDF 28 SKM 3 1
Tamil Nadu 234 8 AIADMK 117 DMK 89, IUML 1 1 18*
Telangana 119 13 5 CPM 1 TDP 3 TRS 90, AIMIM 7
Tripura 60 2 6 CPM 50, CPI 1 1
Uttar Pradesh 403 7 312 SP 47, RLD 1, ADS 9, SBSP 4 BSP 19, NISHAD 1 3
Uttarakhand 70 11 57 2
West Bengal 294 42 3 CPM 26, RSP 3, AIFB 2, CPI 1 GJM 3 AITC 213 1
Delhi 70 4 AAP 46 20*
Puducherry 30 15 AINRC 8, AIADMK 4 DMK 2 1
Total 4120 777 1416 178 326 609 674 89 56

Presiding officers

Similar to the Presiding officers of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, the Legislative Assembly and the Legislative Council also have Presiding Officers. The Legislative Assembly has a Speaker and a Deputy Speaker and the Legislative Council has a Chairman and a Deputy Chairman. They are elected from among the members of the House.

See also

References

  1. ^ "Indian Government Structure at State Level". KKHSOU. 
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-10-05. Retrieved 2010-02-18. 
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