Composition of State Legislative Council
The popular name of the State Legislative Council is the Vidhan Parishad. The total membership of a Legislative council cannot be normally less than 40 and more than l/3rd of the total membership of the State Legislative Assembly.
The membership of the Vidhan Parishad includes elected as well as nominated representatives from several types of constituencies.
The following formula is used:
(i) 1/3rd members are elected by the members of State Legislative Assembly.
(ii) 1/3rd members are elected by local bodies of the state.
(iii) 1/12th members are elected by teachers of at least three years standing, serving educational institutions of the state.
(iv) 1/12 members are elected by state university graduates of not less than three years-standing.
(v) 1/6th members are nominated by the Governor of the state.
Any citizen of India who is not less than 30 years of age, who possesses all the qualifications as laid down by the Parliament, who is not a member of any other legislature or Union Parliament can become a member of the State Legislative Council either by winning an election or by securing the Governor’s nomination. The Legislative council is a semi-permanent House. It is never dissolved as a whole. 1/3rd of its members retire after every 2 years and each member has a term of 6 years.
Duration of the two Houses
Duration of Legislative Assembly
The term of the Legislative Assembly is five years. But it may be dissolved even earlier than the five years, by the Governor on the request of the Chief Minister.
The term of the Legislative Assembly may be extended during an Emergency, but not more than six months at a time. In the State of Jammu and Kashmir, the tenure of the Legislative Assembly is 6 years.
The Legislative Council is the Upper House in the State. Just like the Rajya Sabha, it is a permanent House. The members of a state’s Upper House are selected based on the strength of each party in the Lower House and by state gubernatorial nomination. The term of each member is 6 years and 1/3 members of the House retire after every two years.
The upper house of a state assembly, unlike the Upper house of the Parliament, can be abolished by the lower house, if it passes a specific law bill, which states to dissolve the upper house, and gets it attested in both houses of parliament and then signed by the President into law.
Many of the states have abolished the upper house by the above mentioned method, as the upper house causes unnecessary problems and issues.
Duration of the Council
The Legislative Council is not subject to dissolution, but 1/3 of its members retire after every two years. It implies that the term of its members is six years. Like the Rajya Sabha, the Legislative Council is a permanent body, only a fraction of its members are being changed every third year.