The State Legislative Council, or Vidhan Parishad, or Saasana Mandali is the upper house in those states of India that have a bicameral state legislature; the lower house being the State Legislative Assembly. Its establishment is defined in Article 169 of the Constitution of India.

Only 6 out of 28 states have a Legislative Council. These are Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Telangana, Maharashtra, Bihar, and Uttar Pradesh.[1] No union territory has a legislative council.

Qualification and tenure

Members of a State Legislative Council (MLC) must be a citizen of India, at least 30 years old, mentally sound, not an insolvent, and must be an enrolled voter of the state. A member may not be a Member of Parliament and Member of the State Legislative Assembly at the same time. A member must not hold any office of profit under the Government of India or the Government of any state.
The tenure of the MLCs are six years. One-third of the members of State Legislative Council retire after every two years. This arrangement parallels that for the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Parliament of India.[1]

Composition

The size of the State Legislative Council cannot be more than one third of the membership of the State Legislative Assembly. However, its size cannot be less than 40 members. These members elect the chairman and Deputy Chairman of the State Legislative Council.

MLCs are chosen in the following manner:[1]

Creation, abolition and roles of State Legislative Councils

According to the Article 169 of the Constitution of India, the Parliament of India can create or abolish the State Legislative Council of a state if that state's legislature passes a resolution for that with a special majority. As of 9 January 2024, 6 out of the 28 states have State Legislative Council.[1]

The existence of a State Legislative Council has proven politically controversial. A number of states that have had their Legislative Council abolished have subsequently requested its re-establishment; conversely, proposals for the re-establishment of the Legislative Council for a state have also met with opposition. Proposals for abolition or re-establishment of a state's Legislative Council require confirmation by the Parliament of India.

The Constitution of India gives limited power to the State Legislative Council. The State Legislative Council can neither form or dissolve a state government. The State Legislative Council also have no role in the passing of money bills. But some of the powers it has is that the chairman and Deputy Chairman of the State Legislative Council enjoy the same status of Cabinet Ministers in the state.[1]

Current State Legislative Councils

See also: State governments of India

Legislative Council Seat(s) House strength[2] Party with a plurality/majority
Elected Nom. Total
Andhra Pradesh Amaravati 50 8 58 YSR Congress Party
Bihar Patna 63 12 75 Janata Dal (United)
Karnataka Bangalore (summer)
Belgaum (winter)
64 11 75 Indian National Congress
Maharashtra Mumbai (summer)
Nagpur (winter)
66 12 78 Shiv Sena
Telangana Hyderabad 34 6 40 Indian National Congress
Uttar Pradesh Lucknow 90 10 100 Bharatiya Janata Party
Total 367 59 426

State Legislative Councils by ruling parties

Ruling party States
Indian National Congress 2
Bharatiya Janata Party 1
Janata Dal (United) 1
Shiv Sena 1
YSR Congress Party 1

The Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance is in power in 3 legislative councils; the Indian National Congress-led Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance is in power in 1 legislative councils; 2 legislative councils are ruled by other parties/alliances; and 30 other states/union territories do not have a legislative council.

Former State Legislative Councils

Council Seat(s) House strength Years active Abolished by
Assam Legislative Council Shillong 42 1935-1947 India (Provincial Legislatures) Order, 1947
Bombay Legislative Council Bombay 78 1950–1960 Bombay State Reorganisation Act, 1960
Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Council Srinagar (summer)
Jammu (winter)
36 1957–2019 Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019
Madhya Pradesh Legislative Council Bhopal 77 1956–1969 Madhya Pradesh Legislative Council (Abolition) Act, 1969
Punjab Legislative Council Chandigarh 39 1956–1969 Punjab Legislative Council (Abolition) Act, 1969
Tamil Nadu Legislative Council Chennai 78 1956–1986 Tamil Nadu Legislative Council (Abolition) Act, 1986
West Bengal Legislative Council Kolkata 98 1952–1969 West Bengal Legislative Council (Abolition) Act, 1969

Proposed State Legislative Councils

There are currently 4 proposals for creation of Legislative Councils:[3]

Criticism and support

The State Legislative Councils are criticised for being unnecessary. It is considered a burden on the state budget and cause delays in passing legislation.[1] State legislative council helps the defeated leaders to get a seat in the state legislature. This reduces the feeling of democracy, since the leaders are elected indirectly. These are the reasons why most of the states don't prefer legislative councils.

Other states support the establishment of legislative councils, arguing that they represent the local governments and also give voice to people having expertise in various fields (through Gubernatorial nominations).

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f "WHAT IS LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL". Business Standard India. Retrieved 2 December 2021.
  2. ^ "List of State Legislative Councils of India". Jagranjosh.com. 25 May 2021. Retrieved 30 August 2022.
  3. ^ "Proposals of four states for creating legislative councils under examination: Govt". The Times of India. 17 March 2023. ISSN 0971-8257. Retrieved 29 March 2023.
  4. ^ "After 9-years, Rajasthan govt again pushes for a legislative council". Hindustan Times. 8 July 2021. Retrieved 29 March 2023.
  5. ^ "West Bengal Assembly gives nod to revive Vidhan Parishad after 52 yrs". Firstpost. 6 July 2021. Retrieved 29 March 2023.
  6. ^ "Legislative Council: Odisha locks horns with central government". www.telegraphindia.com. Retrieved 29 March 2023.
  7. ^ "Centre has sought clarifications on proposal to create Odisha legislative council: Speaker". The Economic Times. 6 March 2022. ISSN 0013-0389. Retrieved 29 March 2023.
  8. ^ "State government mulls creation of Legislative Council of Assam Legislative Assembly - Sentinelassam". www.sentinelassam.com. 19 February 2020. Retrieved 29 March 2023.