Vidhan Sabha and Vidhan Parishad, also known as State Legislative Assembly or Legislative Assembly and State Legislative Council or Legislative Council, are essential to the Indian Government. The legislative body in India is considered supreme in the Parliament. It has mainly two houses and the President. The two houses include Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha, or Council of States and House of the People. Out of these two, Rajya Sabha are elected or chosen by the State legislative assemblies members, which is Vidhan Sabha. There are many things important in Vidhan Sabha and Vidhan Parishad that every Indian should know, and these things are discussed here.
Vidhan Sabha, also referred to as Sasana Sabha or State Legislative Assembly, is India’s states’ and union territories’ legislative body. The 3 union territories of India and 28 states have a unicameral state legislature in which this is the only legislative body. The other 6, where there is a bicameral state legislature, is the lower house. There are five Indian union territories that the Union Government of India governs, so there is no legislative body in them. The members of the legislative assembly or Vidhan Sabha are known as MLAs in short. MLAs are elected and serve five years.
According to the Indian Constitution, a State Legislative Assembly should have a minimum of 60 members and 500 members. But if the Parliament has granted an act for a state, only it can have less than 60 members. For example, Goa, Mizoram, Puducherry (a union territory), and Sikkim have less than 60 members in Vidhan Sabha.
The Vidhan Sabha can be dissolved by the Governor in an emergency if the Chief Minister has requested or if there has been a motion of no confidence passed in opposition to the coalition or the major ruling party.
Members of Vidhan Sabha
If a person wants to become an MLA, that means a State Legislative Assembly member for which the elections will be held, then he/she should pass the following major criteria:
- The person should not be a Member of Parliament and a Vidhan Parishad simultaneously.
- It should also be stated that no criminal charges or procedures are pending against the person who is contesting.
The Vidhan Sabha has mostly equal powers with that of state’s legislature’s upper house, the Vidhan Parishad. Except that if the state government is dissolved or money bills are to be passed, then the Vidhan Sabha has the final authority.
Vidhan Parishad, also known as Sasana Mandali or State Legislative Council, is the main upper house in the states that are a part of bicameral state legislature. The lower house is the Vidhan Sabha or the State Legislative Assembly in such states. The establishment of Vidhan Parishad has been defined in the Indian Constitution in Article 169. In the year 2022, six states have Vidhan Parishad, following the bicameral state legislature. These states include Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Telangana, Karnataka, and Maharashtra.
Tenure and Qualification
If a person wants to become a Vidhan Parishad member that is also known as MLC (Member of State Legislative Council), then he/she should pass the following criteria:
- He/she should be an Indian citizen
- Should be above 30 years
- Should not be an insolvent
- Should be mentally sound
- Should have the enrolment on the state’s voter’s list
- Should not be a Parliament Member and a Vidhan Sabha member simultaneously
The tenure of MLC is of six years, and in every second year, one-third of MLCs get retirement.
Major differences between Vidhan Sabha and Vidhan Parishad
The major difference between Vidhan Sabha and Vidhan Parishad is that in the states that follow bicameral state legislature, Vidhan Parishad is the upper house, and Vidhan Sabha is the lower house. The Vidhan Sabha members are elected and chosen by people, while members of Vidhan Parishad are chosen by municipalities, panchayats, and other state entities. The members of Vidhan Sabha serve a tenure of five years, while Vidhan Parishad serves for six years. In Vidhan Sabha, there are a minimum of 60 and a maximum of 500 members, except for some states, but in Vidhan Parishad, members are one-third of Vidhan Sabha and should be more than 40.
Vidhan Sabha and Vidhan Parishad are important to state legislatures, especially in states with bicameral legislatures. They both have their powers and roles in the Parliament and government of States.