Membership of the State Legislature
In order to become a Member of the Vidhan Sabha a person must:
- Be a citizen of India;
- Have attained the age of 25 years;
- Have his/her name in the voters’ list;
- Must not hold any office of profit i.e.; should not be a government servant.
In order to be a member of the Legislative Council a person should:
- Be a citizen of India,
- Have attained the age of 30 years;
- Be a registered voter in the State;
- Not hold any office of profit.
The Vidhan Parishad is partly elected and partly nominated. Most of the members are indirectly elected in accordance with the principle of proportional representation by means of single transferable vote system. Different categories of members represent different interests.
Disqualification for Election to Vidhan Sabha–
If you want to stand as a candidate for election to the Legislative Assembly of a State (other than the State of Jammu and Kashmir) or of a Union Territory from an assembly constituency, you must not suffer from any of the following disqualifications, constitutional and statutory:
- Constitutional Disqualifications for Membership of the Legislative Assembly of a State (other than Jammu and Kashmir and the Legislative Assembly of a Union Territory).
These are contained in Article 191 of the Constitution of India.
- In the first place, you must not hold any office of profit under the Government of India or the Government of any State other than an office declared by the Legislature of the State by law not to disqualify its holder. The various State Legislatures have made laws declaring different offices of profit which will not disqualify a holder of such an office for being chosen as and for being a member of the Legislative Assembly of that State.
- In the second place you must not be of unsound mind and must, not stand so declared by a competent court.
- In the third place you must not be an undischarged insolvent.
- In the fourth place, you will be disqualified if you are not a citizen of India or you have voluntarily acquired the citizenship of a foreign State or if you are under any acknowledgement of allegiance or adherence to a foreign State. In simple words, you must not be an alien or a foreigner.
- And, lastly, you must not be disqualified by or under any law made by Parliament.
Disqualification on Ground of Defection
The Constitution (Fifty-second Amendment) Act, 1985 popularly known as the anti-defection law came into force w.e.f. 1 March 1985. It amended articles 101, 102, 190 and 191 of the Constitution regarding vacation of seats and disqualification from membership of the State Legislatures and added a new schedule i.e. the Tenth Schedule to the Constitution setting out certain provisions as to disqualification on ground of defection.
In articles 102/191, a new clause (2) has been inserted which reads as follows:
“A person shall be disqualified for being a member of either House of Parliament if he is so disqualified under the Tenth Schedule.”
The main provisions of the Tenth Schedule are—
Grounds of Defection
- The grounds on which disqualification can be incurred are as under:
- Members belonging to political parties
- Member elected otherwise than as candidate set up by any political party
- Nominated Members
A nominated member of a House shall be disqualified for being a member of the House if he joins any political party after the expiry of six months from the date on which he takes his seat after complying with the requirements of article 99 or as the case may be, article 188.
Oath or Affirmation
Form of oath or affirmation to be made by a member of the Legislature of a State:-
“I, A.B., having been elected (or nominated) a member of the Legislative Assembly (or Legislative Council), do swear in the name of God/solemnly affirm that I will
- bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India,
- uphold the sovereignty and integrity of India,
- faithfully discharge the duty upon which I am about to enter.”
An MLA’s salary differs from state to state, there is no fixed salary for the MLA’s in every state of India. For instance, the Telengana government has recently hiked the monthly salary of MLA’s to 163% i.e from 83,000 to 2.5 Lakhs INR. Odissa MLA’s are the lowest paid with the salary of 20,000 per month.
MLA’s are not limited with their salaries, they also get special allowances from the government, such as free Rail travel, limited Air travel in First Class, Free Housing and many more.
Vacation of Seats
- Member of the House of the People elected to the Council of States
If a person is already a member of the House of the People and has taken his seat in that House, but is subsequently elected to the Council of States, his seat in the House of the People will become vacant on the date of his election.
- Member of the Council of States elected to the House of the People
If a person is already a member of the Council of the States and has taken his seat in that Council, but is subsequently elected to the House of the People, his seat in the Council of states will become vacant on date of his election.
3. Election to more than one seat in either House of Parliament or in the House or either House of a State Legislature
A person may be elected to more than one seat in the House of the People of the Council of States or in the House or either House of the Legislature of a State.
In such a case, he shall have to resign all, but one of such seats, within fourteen days from the date of such election or, where the dates of his election are different in respect of different seat, fourteen days from the last of those dates. The communication should be addressed to the Speaker or Chairman of the House concerned or if necessary, to the Deputy Speaker or the Deputy Chairman of the House, or, failing that, to the Election Commission.
- Election to both Parliament and State Legislature
A person cannot be a member of both the Parliament and of a House of the Legislature of a State. If he has been elected both to the Parliament and to the Legislature of a State, he should resign one of his seats within fourteen days from the date of publication in the Gazette of India or in the Official Gazettes of the State, whichever is later, of the declaration that he has been so elected.
Election to both Houses of a State Legislature
A person cannot be a member of both Houses of the Legislature of a State. If he has been elected to both the Houses, he should immediately consult the Secretaries of the Houses in order to ascertain how he should vacate his seat in one House or the other.
He will have to resign his seat in one of the Houses according to the provisions made in this behalf under Article 190(1) of the Constitution.