In India, the bicameral legislature is present both at the central and the state level. In the states, the bicameral structure composes of the Legislative Assembly, Legislative Council and the Governor. However, it can be found only in 5 states while the rest 23 states follow unicameral legislature, i.e. the Legislative Assembly and Governor. The Legislative Assembly or Vidhan Sabha is the lower house of the legislature, whose powers and functions are equal to the Lok Sabha working at the central level.
On the other extreme, Vidhan Parishad, i.e. the Legislative Council represents the upper house of the legislature which is parallel to the Rajya Sabha of the Parliament. There are notable differences between Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council in India, which are discussed here in detail.
Content: Legislative Assembly Vs Legislative Council
|Basis for Comparison||Legislative Assembly (Vidhan Sabha)||Legislative Council (Vidhan Parishad)|
|Meaning||Legislative Assembly is the lower house of the State legislature, whose members represents the people of the State, as they are directly elected by the people.||Legislative Council is the upper house of Indian States, which follows a bicameral legislature, whose members are partly elected and partly nominated.|
|Body||Temporary body||Permanent body|
|Election||Direct election||Indirect election|
|Members||Maximum members are 500, while minimum members are 60.||One third of the total members of Vidhan Sabha, but it should not be less than 40.|
|Minimum age for Membership||25 years||30 years|
Definition of Legislative Assembly
Legislative Assembly, or commonly known as Vidhan Sabha is the popular house in the State Legislature that represents the residents of the State. Members of Legislative Assembly (MLA) are elected by the people directly through elections by the adults called as voters, according to the principle of the universal adult franchise. During elections, the State is divided into a number of constituencies, and from each constituency, one member is elected.
The total number of MLA’s in the State Assembly cannot exceed 500 and should not be less than 60. Nevertheless, the centre has fixed a lesser number of members for small states. In the State Legislative Assembly, one member from the Anglo-Indian Community is nominated by the Governor, when the community is not properly represented. Moreover, certain seats are reserved for SC and ST.
It is a temporary body which continues to operate for a period of 5 years. However, it can be dissolved by the Governor after consulting with the Chief Minister, before the term expires.
Definition of Legislative Council
Legislative Council or otherwise called as Vidhan Parishad is the permanent body, which operates at the state level, as Rajya Sabha works at the central level. It is present in only seven states of India, which are Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Jammu & Kashmir.
The Council is created or abolished when the Legislative Assembly of the state passes a resolution by two-thirds majority of members, who are present and voting in the State Assembly for the same and then request the Parliament to create or abolish the legislative council.
The maximum number of members in the Parishad, should not be more than one-third of the members of the Vidhan Sabha, but the minimum number of members should be 40. The tenure of the members is six years. After every two years, 33.33% of its members retire.
Key Differences Between Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council
The points given below are significant, so far as the difference between legislative assembly and legislative council is concerned:
- Legislative Assembly or Vidhan Sabha is the lower chamber in the legislature of the State, whose members are elected by way of direct elections to represent the interest of the people. In contrast, the Legislative Council is the Upper chamber of the State, that consist of the bicameral legislature.
- The Legislative Assembly is a temporary body whose tenure is only 5 years after which it is dissolved. On the other hand, the Legislative Council is a permanent house which is never dissolved. It can only be abolished, if the Assembly of the State passes a resolution in this regard and Parliament approves it.
- The members of the Legislative Assembly are directly elected through First Past the Post system, whereas the members of Legislative Council are indirectly elected through proportional representation system.
- The maximum strength of the Vidhan Sabha is of 500 members, and the minimum strength is 60 members. But in case of states which are small in size can have lesser number of members. On the contrary, the maximum strength of the Vidhan Parishad cannot be more than one-third of the total membership of the Vidhan Sabha. In addition to this, the minimum number of members the Council can have is 40.
- To become a member of Legislative Assembly, one should have attained the age of 25 years. As against, the minimum age of members of Legislative Council is 30 years.
- The Legislative Assembly is headed by the speaker, who presides over the meetings. The speaker is elected by the members from among the members. Conversely, the Chairman is the presiding officer of the council, who is also chosen by the members themselves, to head the meeting and conduct proceedings.
The Parliament of India has the power to set up or abolish the Legislative Council in the State. Moreover, the members of the Parishad are partly elected and partly nominated, wherein the partly elected members are chosen indirectly through proportional representation method.