Every state has a Legislative Assembly to represent the people of the state. It is also called the Lower House in case the state has a bicameral legislature, and it is the most powerful as compared to the legislative council (upper house).
A state is divided into a number of legislative constituencies as the number of members to be elected. The boundary of a constituency is defined by the population and geographical area. Constituency boundary will be modified once in ten years if there are any changes in the population size (It will be validated after every census once in 10 years).
The members are directly elected by the masses of the state through election. Voting rights are given to Every Indian citizen who are 18 years old and registered in the voters list. They can cast their vote only to the constituency on which they belong to. The minimum and maximum no of members of a legislative assembly is defined between 60 and 500, but there are few states which have smaller geographical area are exempted to meet the minimum no of seats i.e. Mizoram, Goa, Sikkim and etc. Some seats are reserved for Scheduled Tribes, Scheduled Castes and female candidates. One member from Anglo-Indian community can be nominated by the Governor.
Legislative assembly meetings are presided by the Speaker and in the absence of him/her the Deputy Speaker will conduct the meeting. Both of them are elected by the legislative assembly members.
The tenure of the legislative assembly is five years. But it may get extended during an emergency for a period of six months. On the request of the Chief Minister, It may also be dissolved before the completion of its tenure (five years) by the State governor or in case it failed to pass the floor test with majority.
In every state there will be many political parties some are state parties and few others are national parties. The political parties which have faith in electoral politics would nominate their candidates for all or most of the constituencies. Any individual who doesn’t belong to a political party can also contest the election; he/she will be called an “Independent candidate”. Every contestant will be given a symbol and it is printed on the ballot paper along with their name (major political parties have their own permanent symbol).
Essential Qualification to become a member of Legislative Assembly
- Must be an Indian citizen
- Should be 25 years old
- Must enrol in the voters list of the state
- Should not hold any office of profit
- Should not be a government servant
The States Council of Ministers
The Chief Minister will be chosen by a party which won most of the constituencies and is said to have got majority (crossed half mark of the total no of constituency).
The total no of legislative constituencies in Tamil Nadu is 234. The half mark would be 117, so any party which won 118 constituencies (118 MLA’s) would be invited by the Governor to form the government or in some cases he may invite the party which won most number of seats but they have to prove the majority in the floor test conducted in legislative assembly.
Ministers for various departments will be selected by the Chief Minister. The Chief Minister and his ministerial colleague are collectively termed as State Government.