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The Vidhan Parishad (or Legislative Council) is the upper house in those states of India that have a bicameral legislature. As of 2014[update], eight (out of twenty-nine) states have a Legislative Council: Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Telangana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. Union Cabinet of India has cleared the State of Assam to form a Legislative Council on 28th Nov 2013. In 2010 the Parliament of India passed an Act to re-establish a Legislative Council for an eighth state, Tamil Nadu, but implementation of the Act has been put on hold pending legal action; the state government has also expressed its opposition to the council's revival.
- Rajasthan Legislative Council still not made by an act of parliament.
In contrast with a state's Vidhan Sabha (Legislative Assembly), the Legislative Council is a permanent body and cannot be dissolved; each Member of the Legislative Council (MLC) serves for a six-year term, with terms staggered so that the terms of one-third of a Council's members expire every two years. This arrangement parallels that for the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Parliament of India.
MLCs must be citizens of India, at least 30 years' old, mentally sound, not an insolvent, and on the voters' list of the state for which he or she is contesting an election. He or she may not be a Member of Parliament at the same time.
The size of the Vidhan Parishad cannot be more than one-third the membership of the Vidhan Sabha. However, its size cannot be less than 40 members (except in Jammu and Kashmir, where there are 36 by an Act of Parliament.)
MLCs are chosen in the following manner:
- One-third are elected by members of local bodies such as Municipal Corporations, Municipalities, Gram Sabhas, Gram Panchayats, Panchayat Samitis and Zila Parishads.
- One-third are elected by members of Legislative Assemblies of the State from among the persons who are not members of the Assembly.
- One-twelfth are elected by persons who are graduates of three years' standing residing in that state.
- One-twelfth are elected by persons engaged for at least three years in teaching in educational institutions within the state not lower than secondary schools, including colleges and universities.
- One-sixth are nominated by the Governor from persons having knowledge or practical experience in fields such as literature, science, arts, the co-operative movement and social service.
Abolition and revival
The existence of a Legislative Council has proven politically controversial. A number of states that have had their Council abolished have subsequently requested its re-establishment; conversely, proposals for the re-establishment of the 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.
In April 2007, the State of Andhra Pradesh re-established its Legislative Council. The State's main opposition party, the Telugu Desam Party, had stated that it would abolish the council again if it came to power in the state.
- Legislative Assembly
- Legislative Council
- Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council
- Bihar Legislative Council
- Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Council
- Karnataka Legislative Council
- Maharashtra Legislative Council
- Telangana Legislative Council
- Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council
- Tamil Nadu Legislative Council
- West Bengal Legislative Council