State governments of India

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State governments in India are the governments ruling States of India and the head of the council of ministers in a state is chief minister. Power is divided between the central government and state governments. While the central government handles military and external affairs etc., whereas the state government deals with internal security (through state police) and other state issues. Income for the central government is from customs duty, excise tax, income tax etc., while state government income comes from sales tax (VAT), stamp duty, now these have been subsumed under SGST, GST—components of GST. Each state has a legislative assembly. A state legislature that has one house, known as Vidhan Sabha or Legislative assembly, is a Unicameral legislature.

A state legislature that has two houses known as Vidhan Sabha and Vidhan Parishad, is a bicameral legislature.The Vidhan Sabha is the lower house and corresponds to the Lok Sabha. The Vidhan Parishad is the upper house and corresponds to the Rajya Sabha.

The Sarkaria Commission was set up to review the balance of power between states and the union. The central government can dissolve a state government in favour of President's rule if necessary. The state of Jammu and Kashmir has higher autonomy compared to other states by virtue of Article 370.


For every state, there is a legislature, which consists of Governor and one House or, two Houses as the case may be.[1] In Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh, there are two Houses known as legislative council and legislative assembly. In the remaining states, there is only one House known as legislative assembly. Parliament may, by law, provide for abolition of an existing legislative council or for creation of one where it does not exist, if proposal is supported by a resolution of the legislative assembly concerned.

The Legislative Council (Vidhan Parishad) of a state comprises not more than one third of total number of members in legislative assembly of the state and in no case fewer than 40 members (Legislative Council of Jammu and Kashmir has 36 members vide Section 50 of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir). About one-third of members of the council are elected by members of legislative assembly from amongst persons who are not its members, one-third by electorates consisting of members of municipalities, district boards and other local authorities in the state, one-twelfth by electorate consisting of persons who have been, for at least three years, engaged in teaching in educational institutions within the state not lower in standard than secondary school and a further one-twelfth by registered graduates of more than three years' standing. Remaining members are nominated by Governor from among those who have distinguished themselves in literature, science, art, cooperative movement and social service. Legislative councils are not subject to dissolution but one-third of their members retire every second year.

The Legislative Assembly (Vidhan Sabha) of a state consists of not more than 500 and not fewer than 60 members (Legislative Assembly of Sikkim has 32 members, while Puducherry has 32, Goa and Mizoram have 40 seats each vide Article 371F of the Constitution) chosen by direct election from territorial constituencies in the state. Demarcation of territorial constituencies is to be done in such a manner that the ratio between population of each constituency and number of seats allotted to it, as far as practicable, is the same throughout the state. Term of an assembly is five years unless it is dissolved earlier.

Powers and Functions[edit]

State legislature have exclusive powers over subjects enumerated in List II of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution and concurrent powers over those enumerated in List III. Financial powers of legislature include authorisation of all expenditure, taxation and borrowing by the state government. Legislative assembly alone has power to originate money bills. Legislative council can make only recommendations in respect of changes it considers necessary within a period of fourteen days of the receipt of money bills from Assembly. Assembly can accept or reject these recommendations.

The Governor of a state may reserve any Bill for the consideration of the President. Bills relating to subjects like compulsory acquisition of property, measures affecting powers and position of High Courts and imposition of taxes on storage, distribution and sale of water or electricity in Inter-state River or river valley development projects should necessarily be so reserved. No Bills seeking to impose restrictions on inter-state trade can be introduced in a state legislature without previous sanction of the President.

State legislatures, apart from exercising the usual power of financial control, use all normal parliamentary devices like questions, discussions, debates, adjournments and no-confidence motions and resolutions to keep a watch over day-to-day work of the executive. They also have their committees on estimates and public accounts to ensure that grants sanctioned by legislature are properly utilised.

There is, overall, 4,120 assembly seats in states and Union Territories in India.[1][2][3] Andhra Pradesh abolished its legislative council in 1984, but has set up a new legislative Council following elections in 2007.[4]

Membership and terms of office[edit]

State Legislature type Size Current Term
Lower Upper From To
Andhra Pradesh Bicameral 175 50[4] Jun 2014 Jun 2019
Arunachal Pradesh Unicameral 60 N/A Jun 2014 Jun 2019
Assam Unicameral 126 N/A May 2016 May 2021
Bihar Bicameral 243 75 Nov 2015 Nov 2020
Chhattisgarh Unicameral 90 N/A Jan 2014 Jan 2019
Delhi Unicameral 70 N/A Feb 2015 Feb 2020
Goa Unicameral 40 N/A Mar 2017 Mar 2022
Gujarat Unicameral 182 N/A Dec 2017 Dec 2022
Haryana Unicameral 90 N/A Nov 2014 Nov 2019
Himachal Pradesh Unicameral 68 N/A Dec 2017 Dec 2022
Jammu and Kashmir Bicameral 87 36 Dec 2014 Dec 2020**
Jharkhand Unicameral 81 N/A Dec 2014 Dec 2019
Karnataka Bicameral 224 75 May 2018 May 2023
Kerala Unicameral 140 N/A May 2016 May 2021
Madhya Pradesh Unicameral 230 N/A Jan 2014 Jan 2019
Maharashtra Bicameral 288 78 Nov 2014 Nov 2019
Manipur Unicameral 60 N/A Mar 2017 Mar 2022
Meghalaya Unicameral 60 N/A Mar 2018 Mar 2023
Mizoram Unicameral 40 N/A Dec 2013 Dec 2018
Nagaland Unicameral 60 N/A Mar 2018 Mar 2023
Odisha Unicameral 147 N/A Jun 2014 Jun 2019
Puducherry Unicameral 30 N/A May 2016 May 2021
Punjab Unicameral 117 N/A Mar 2017 Mar 2022
Rajasthan Unicameral 200 N/A Jan 2014 Jan 2019
Sikkim Unicameral 32 N/A May 2014 May 2019
Tamil Nadu Unicameral 234 N/A May 2016 May 2021
Telangana Bicameral 119 40[5] Jun 2014 Jun 2019
Tripura Unicameral 60 N/A Mar 2018 Mar 2023
Uttar Pradesh Bicameral 403 100 Mar 2017 Mar 2022
Uttarakhand Unicameral 70 N/A Mar 2017 Mar 2022
West Bengal Unicameral 295 N/A May 2016 May 2021

**For Jammu and Kashmir Assembly Term is 6 Years


State Governments in India see the presence of both National and Regional Parties. As of 24 may 2018, the National Democratic Alliance is in power in 21 states, the United Progressive Alliance is in power in 3 states and 1 union territory, the CPI(M) is in power in 1 state, rest of the states with regional parties.


State Executive[6] consists of Governor, Council of Ministers with Chief Minister as its head and Advocate General. The Governor of a State is appointed by the President for a term of five years and holds office during his pleasure. Only Indian citizens above 35 years of age are eligible for appointment to this office. Executive power of the State is vested in Governor.

Council Of Ministers

The Chief Minister is appointed by the Governor who also appoints other ministers on the advice of the Chief Minister. The Council of Ministers is collectively responsible to legislative assembly of the State.

Council of Ministers with Chief Minister as head aids and advises Governor in exercise of his functions except in so far as he is by or under the Constitution required to exercise his functions or any of them in his discretion. In respect of Nagaland, Governor has special responsibility under Article 371 A of the Constitution with respect to law and order and even though it is necessary for him to consult Council of Ministers in matters relating to law and order, he can exercise his individual judgement as to the action to be taken.

Similarly, in respect of Arunachal Pradesh, Governor has special responsibility under Article 371H of the Constitution with respect to law and order and in discharge of his functions in relation thereto. Governor shall, after consulting Council of Ministers, exercise his individual judgement as to the action to be taken. These are, however, temporary provisions if President, on receipt of a report from Governor or otherwise is satisfied that it is no longer necessary for Governor to have special responsibility with respect to law and order, he may so direct by an order.

Likewise, in the Sixth Schedule which applies to tribal areas of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram as specified in para 20 of that Schedule, discretionary powers are given to Governor in matters relating to sharing of royalties between district council and state government. Sixth Schedule vests additional discretionary powers in Governors of Mizoram and Tripura in almost all their functions (except approving regulations for levy of taxes and money lending by non-tribal by district councils) since December 1998. In Sikkim, Governor has been given special responsibility for peace and social and economic advancement of different sections of population.

All Governors while discharging such constitutional functions as appointment of Chief Minister of a State or sending a report to President about failure of constitutional machinery in a State or in respect of matters relating to assent to a Bill pass


State High courts have jurisdiction over the whole state, but report to the Supreme Court of India, which may override the high court's judgements and rulings.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Glass ceilings in State Cabinets".
  2. ^ "Election Commission of India".
  3. ^ "Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment - Government of India" (PDF).
  4. ^ a b "Legislature".
  5. ^ "Telangana State Portal/ Members of Legislative Council".
  6. ^ "The Polity : The States -Profile - Know India: National Portal of India".