How the State Government Works

In India, there are three levels of government – National/Union, State and Local. This is called decentralisation of power, wherein each level has its own area of functioning. National government makes decisions on matters concerning the entire country like defence, foreign affairs, currency, etc. State government makes decisions on issues related to the state like agricultural policy. Local government is responsible for managing the affairs of small towns and villages.

State legislature is the law making body in the states. State legislatures in India are either Bicameral or Unicameral. The Bicameral legislatures consist of Legislative Council (Vidhan Parishad) and Legislative Assembly (Vidhan Sabha). Legislative Council is the Upper House and Legislative Assembly is the Lower House. The Legislative Council is partly elected and partly nominated. The Legislative Assembly is the elected House of State Legislature. It plays an important role in formation of laws. Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs), from both ruling and opposition parties, discuss various issues related to the state. The term of legislative assembly is five years, but it can be dissolved earlier by the Governor at the behest of Chief Minister.

MLAs are elected through voting. Electors in a constituency can cast one vote each for a candidate. Candidate who gets the maximum votes in a constituency is the winner. Smaller areas carved out in each state are called constituencies. People from each constituency elect one representative who becomes Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA). The State Functionaries include – Governor (Nominal Head), Chief Minister (Head of State government) and State Council of Ministers. In democracy, the ultimate power lies with the people. Political parties play an important role. Political parties may have different ideologies, but can join hands to form a coalition government. Members of opposition parties also play an important role in highlighting the weaknesses of the government. Media also plays a vital role in a successful democracy. It acts as a link between the people and the government.

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