We all know that government has three organs that are Legislative, Judiciary and Executive. The function of each organ is absolutely differs from other such as Legislative is entrusted to draft the the law for regulation of peaceful society, Judiciary interprets and provide justice to people with the help of the laws and lastly executive execute those laws. In this way these bodies are interlinked but perform their functions independently. This article provides brief insight to the formation of law making bodies at each and every level be it Legislative Body. India is known for its largest democracy and its Constitution essentially prescribes that Indian is Federal state of government. Therefore, there exist four levels Legislative Bodies. These are-
1.) Government at Centre which includes LokSabha and RajyaSabha.
2.) Government at State which contains Vidhan Sabha and Vidhan Parishad in few states.
3.) Government at Local level i.e., Municipal Corporations and Panchayats.
4.) Lastly, the head of the country i,e., The President of India.
Parliament of India: The top level Legislative Body
Parliament of India is also known as Sansad Bhawan and it is the Supreme Legislative Body of our country. The ultimate manifestation of Parliament is to maintain democratic values of the country. These are the following Constituents of Parliament of India with the procedure of their elections.
- House of People (Lok Sabha)
Article 84 of the Constitution deals with election of LokSabha which is also known as ‘House of People’. The Lok Sabha elections are conducted every five years and the members of this house are directly elected by the citizens of India. The Lok Sabha comprises of 552 members among which two should be from Anglo-Indian community, among 552 members 530 are from state constituencies whereas 20 represent union territories. These two Anglo-Indian representatives are elected by the President. Furthermore, in India each state or UT is divided into parliamentary constituencies colloquially knows as seats, among them such as the highest number of seats are in Uttar Pradesh i.e., 80 and lowest number of seats are from Tripura, Sikkim, Nagaland, Mizoram i.e., only one seat. Whereas Delhi has seven number of Lok Sabha seats. The parties put their proposer from each constituency. And as far as proposer is concerned he can be a government official also.
Usually, parties announce their candidate later and all the procedure is done by proposer. The parties put their candidate in every constituency to fight an election and after voting the party who succeeds in securing the higher seat forms the union government. For example- In the recent 16thLokSabha election, BJP won 303 seats i.e., more than 55% where as INC (Indian National Congress) holds only 9.59%. The other minority parties in alliance with BJP form NDA government. Then the leader of the winning party is appointed as Prime Minister of India. Therefore, when we vote for general election we elect Member of Parliament (MP) from each constituency.
- House of People (RajyaSabha)
This is the Upper House of Parliament which is known as ‘Council of States’. The election of is treated under Article 80 of the Constitution. The maximum strength for this house is 250 among which 2 members are from Union Territories and 238 are from States whereas 12 members are nominated by President of India. The members nominated by the President of India should have special knowledge or practical experience in respect of such matters such as literature, science, art and social service. The fourth schedule of the Indian Constitution provides allocation of seats and Union Territories in Rajya Sabha. The Allocation of seats takes place on the basis of population in each state. Consequent to the reorganization of States and formation of new States, the number of elected seats in Rajya Sabha allotted to States and Union Territories has changed from time to time since 1952. Again the highest number of seats for Rajya Sabha is from Uttar Pradesh i.e. 31 due to its population and least number of seat is one from many states like Goa, Manipur, and Meghalaya etc. The procedure of Rajya Sabha election is indirect. The representative of each State is elected by the elected members of that Legislative Assembly of that State. In case of Union Territory representative are elected by the Electoral College for that Union Territory. The election of Rajya Sabha is in the accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of single transferable vote.
Illustrative example- According to Schedule 4 of our Constitution the election of one-third of states occurs in every two years whereas the total tenure for election is 6 years. Suppose in a state there are three seats in Rajya Sabha and two parties ruled the state, Party A has 100 seats on the other hand Party B has 40 seats. Now, both the parties will choose their candidate for election. If the candidate receives more than the required number of votes then he/she will be elected for Rajya Sabha seat. The formulae to find out required number of seat is-
Quotient= (Total Number of Votes of State Legislature / Number of RajyaSabha seats in that State +1) +1
Suppose, the number of votes for State Legislature is 140 and the Number of RajyaSabha Seat is 3 then it will be solved as = (140/3+1) +1= 36 votes. Therefore to win the RajyaSabha Election each candidate shall have more than 36 votes. But the members shall give preference to each candidate and like Party A can vote to his representative and nominate 2 candidates whereas Party B will obviously give preference to his candidate and nominate one candidate. The UPA (United Progressive Alliance) has majority in Upper House of Parliament.
- President’s Election
President of India holds the highest elective office in the country and he is elected according to the provisions of the Constitution and the Presidential and Vice-Presidential Election Act, 1952. The President holds the office for the period of five years. According to Article 54 of Indian Constitution President is elected by the members of Parliament and State Legislature. Article 55 is all about the manner of election. Each candidate considering standing for President’s Election has to file a nomination and the security is deposited. On election the voters shall vote for the President by writing their preferences on the ballot paper. For example: There are three candidates A,B and C then the voter shall write their preference according to their choice such as if the voter feels candidate C is the most deserving one then he will obviously give him preference 1. Each vote has its own value andvaluation of votes is done in the following way.
Value of Vote of each MLA= (Total Population of State/Total MLA’s of State)/1000
Suppose, population of state of Madhya Pradesh is 30,017,180 and total MLA of State is 230. Then, Value of Vote of each MLA= (30,017,180/230)/1000 = 130.50
Therefore, the value of vote for one MLA for Madhya Pradesh is 130.50. Total value of vote for total MLA of Madhya Pradesh is 130 X 230 = 29,900
Similarly the value of votes for each state is calculated. To determine the Value of Vote of MP= Total Value of Votes of MLA in a Country/Total number of MPs (LS+RS). Suppose Value of votes for MLA in a country is 5,49,474. Then value of vote for an MP= 5,49,474/ LS543+ RS 233= 5,49,474/ 776= 708. Total Value of Vote of all MPs 708X776= 5,49,408.
Total votes to be casted for the Presidential Election = 5,49,408+5,49,474=10,98882.
State Legislative Body
Aforementioned, India is a federal nation and State Legislature is a kind of tier holding highest executive position. Each State of India has Legislative Assembly which is known as Vidhan Sabha operated by Member of Legislative Assembly. MLAs are the direct representative of the people, elected by the voters of an electoral +district (constituency). In India there are seven states which have Bicameral Legislation. The Bicameral Legislation means which have two machineries, one is VidhanSabha and another is Vidhan Parishad. Vidhan Parishad is a Legislative Council a type of Upper House in the State Legislature. The states which have legislative council are- Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Bihar, Telangana, Andra Pradesh, Karnataka and Jammu and Kashmir.
Legislative Council of state comprise of one-third of the total seats in state Legislative Assembly, also the minimum number of seats are 40. But the State of Jammu and Kashmir is exception to this rule, as Legislative Council here has only 36 seats. Unlike Legislative Assembly, Legislative Council never dissolves, one-third of its member retires in every two years and new member take their place.
One-third members are elected by the electorate consisting of members of municipalities/municipal corporations, district boards and other local authorities. One-twelfth members among the house are elected by electorate consisting of persons with at least three years experience in educational institution and have been teaching within the state and the other one – twelfth are registered graduates. One – Sixth (or remaining) members are nominated by the Governor from different personalities in literature, science, arts, cooperatives movements or social service. As usual Uttar Pradesh has the biggest Legislative Council with total of 100 seats on the other hand Jammu and Kashmir has only 36 seats in its Legislative Council. It is believed that the Legislative Councils are extremely weak legislative bodies and have much lesser powers in State Legislature. Interestingly, members of Legislative Council are not included during the President’s Election which means they do not have Right to Vote in President’s Election.
Local Legislative Body Election
Since India is known for it’s ‘democracy at the grass roots’, the election to the rural and urban local bodies carry great significance. Like Parliamentary and Assembly polls, the elections to the Municipal Corporations, Municipalities, District Panchayats and other Local Bodies follow different procedure. It is to be noted that the power of conducting elections to the Corporations such as Municipalities, ZilaParishads, District Panchayats, PanchayatSamitis, Gram Panchayats and various other local bodies is vested with the State Election Commissions (SECs). All these elections are conducted without aid of Election Commission of India. Also, the Model Code of Conduct also prevents them from making any ad-hoc appointments in the government, which may influence voters in favor of the ruling party.
- Municipal Corporations
It is department of state government established in a city of having population more than one million. The elections are held once in five year and the people directly choose the office bearers. The election to the Municipal Corporations is conducted under the supervision of State Election Commissions. However, the provisions for elections come under the jurisdiction of the State Government. In some states, it’s the State Government that arranges the elections, while in other state the authority lies with Executive Officers. Every political party recognized by the Election Commission of India is eligible to contest election of the Corporation.
- Municipality Elections
Municipality is also known as Nagar Palika, is an urban local body that is in charge smaller district with population 100,000 or more. The members of the Municipality are elected for the period of five years. In the Municipality elections, the town is split into wards according to the population and people directly elect their representative from each ward. Post elections, the elected members select a president among themselves to preside over the meetings of the municipality.
- Nagar Panchayat
It is also known as Notified Area Council, such local government bodies exist in urban centers with more than11,000 and less than 25,000 populations. The tenure for Nagar Panchayat is five years whereas electorates from several wards of the Nagar Panchayat exercise their franchise. Furthermore, seats are reserved for scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and backward classes.
The District Council or ZilaParishad is an elected body whose members are elected on the basis of adult franchise for a term of five years. The minimum limit is 50 members and maximum is 75 members. Besides the elected councilors from electoral divisions in the district, the members of the state legislature and the members of the Parliament are also the members of the ZilaParishad. Seats under ZilaParishad are reserved for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Backward Classes and Women.
- Village Panchayat
It’s mandatory for a village to have Gram Panchayat having population up to 500. The members of Village Panchayat are elected for five years. The number of members of a Gram Panchayat depends on the size of population of the village. The elections of the Gram Panchayat are conducted by state election commissioner in alliance with the District Collector and Tehsildar. The Tehsildar announces the date of election. One -third of seats in Gram Panchayat are reserved for female candidates.
India is a populated country with diverse demographic therefore it is difficult for legislative bodies to make laws without hurting the sentiments of the citizens and uphold constitution. For this legislative bodies need efficient laws and policies to govern the nation. To ensure the efficiency the Constitution of India has made a clear demarcation for legislative bodies between their powers jurisdictions through Union, Concurrent and State List. The Union list includes the subjects with national importance like defense, railways etc. On the other side state list includes matter related to state like agriculture, trade and commerce etc whereas Concurrent list includes topics on which both Union and State Government can make laws like education, environment. The fusion of all three lists along with different levels of legislative bodies helps the smooth functioning of government of India.
- Elections in India ;Hemant Singh; 1April 2019
- Here is how the members of the Legislative Council (VidhanParishad) in states are election; RakeshDubudu; 1st January 2016
- How are members of LokSabha elected?; India Today; March 23, 2019
- Presidential Election; By ECI; April 3, 2018
- The Different Types Of Election In India; MeghaMotwani; Apr 20,2019
- Useful Notes on ?Elections in India?? Role, Commission and Constitutional Provision; SohiniPradhan
- Constitution of India;1950
- Representative of People Act,1951