State governments of India

State governments in India are the governments ruling 28 states and 9 union territories of India and the head of the council of ministers in a state is chief minister. Power is divided between the union government and state governments. While the union 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 union 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 CGST, SGST—components of GST.

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Each state has a legislative assembly. A state legislature that has one house, known as State Legislative Assembly (Vidhan Sabha), is a unicameral legislature.

A state legislature that has two houses known as State Legislative Assembly and State Legislative Council (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 of Indian Parliament.

The Sarkaria Commission was set up to review the balance of power between states and the union. The union government can dissolve a state government in favour of President's rule if necessary.


For every state, there is a legislature, which consists of Governor and one House or, two Houses as the case may be. In Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Telangana 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 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.About one-third of members of the council are elected by members of the 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 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 33, 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

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 sub 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, 4,139 legislative assembly seats in states and union territories of 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

State Legislature type Size Current Term
Lower Upper Total From To
Andhra Pradesh Bicameral 176 58[4] 234 Jun 2019 Jun 2024
Arunachal Pradesh Unicameral 60 N/A 60 Jun 2019 Jun 2024
Assam Unicameral 126 N/A 126 May 2016 May 2021
Bihar Bicameral 244 75 319 Nov 2015 Nov 2020
Chhattisgarh Unicameral 91 N/A 91 Jan 2019 Jan 2024
Delhi Unicameral 70 N/A 70 Feb 2015 Feb 2020
Goa Unicameral 40 N/A 40 Mar 2017 Mar 2022
Gujarat Unicameral 183 N/A 183 Dec 2017 Dec 2022
Haryana Unicameral 90 N/A 90 Nov 2019 Nov 2024
Himachal Pradesh Unicameral 68 N/A 68 Dec 2017 Dec 2022
Jammu and Kashmir Unicameral 89 N/A 89 Dec 2014 Dec 2020*
Jharkhand Unicameral 82 N/A 82 Dec 2014 Dec 2019
Karnataka Bicameral 225 75 300 Jul 2019 Jul 2024
Kerala Unicameral 141 N/A 141 May 2016 May 2021
Madhya Pradesh Unicameral 231 N/A 231 Jan 2019 Dec 2024
Maharashtra Bicameral 289 78 367 Nov 2019 Nov 2024
Manipur Unicameral 60 N/A 60 Mar 2017 Mar 2022
Meghalaya Unicameral 60 N/A 60 Mar 2018 Mar 2023
Mizoram Unicameral 40 N/A 40 Dec 2018 Dec 2023
Nagaland Unicameral 60 N/A 60 Mar 2018 Mar 2023
Odisha Unicameral 147 N/A 147 Jun 2019 Jun 2024
Puducherry Unicameral 33 N/A 33 May 2016 May 2021
Punjab Unicameral 117 N/A 117 Mar 2017 Mar 2022
Rajasthan Unicameral 200 N/A 200 Jan 2019 Dec 2024
Sikkim Unicameral 32 N/A 32 Jun 2019 Jun 2024
Tamil Nadu Unicameral 235 N/A 235 May 2016 May 2021
Telangana Bicameral 120 40[5] 160 Dec 2018 Dec 2023
Tripura Unicameral 60 N/A 60 Mar 2018 Mar 2023
Uttar Pradesh Bicameral 404 100 504 Mar 2017 Mar 2022
Uttarakhand Unicameral 71 N/A 71 Mar 2017 Mar 2022
West Bengal Unicameral 295 N/A 295 May 2016 May 2021
Total 41394264565


As of November 2019, the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance is in power in 18 states, the Indian National Congress-led United Progressive Alliance is in power in 5 states and 1 union territory, rest of the states are governed by regional parties.

The union territory of Jammu and Kashmir is currently under the Lieutenant Governor's rule.


State Executive[6] consists of Governor and Council of Ministers with Chief Minister as its head. 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 passing a bill in the state assembly.


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


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