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Describe the composition, powers, and functions of Vidhana Parishad.

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The Composition of the legislative council is as follows: 

  • 1/3 – of the members are elected from the local bodies such as municipalities and district boards. 
  • 1/3 – of the members are elected from members of the Legislative Assembly. 
  • 1/12 – of the members are elected by the graduates from graduate constituencies.
  • 1/12 – of the members are elected from teacher’s constituencies consisting of secondary school, college, and university teachers; and 
  • 1/6- of the members are nominated by the Governor from the fields of science, art, social service, the co-operative movement, literature, etc.

The powers and functions of the Vidhana Parishad are as follows:

1. Legislative functions: No bill can become a law unless agreed upon by both the Legislative council and the Legislative assembly. Any bill other than a Money Bill can originate in the upper house. The lower house on passing a bill sends it to the upper house for consideration and recommendations. If the upper house rejects the bill after keeping it with them for 120 days, the lower house can again send the bill. And if the Legislative council does not give approval the second time, the bill is deemed to have been passed by both the Houses of the state legislature.

2. Financial functions: The Legislative council does not enjoy any position of power on financial matters. It is expressly stated in the constitution that a Money bill or financial bill cannot originate in the upper house. The Vidhanasabha on passing a Money bill sends it to the Vidhana Parishad for its recommendations, but it is to the lower House to accept or reject the recommendations. The Vidhana Parishad can. neither correct nor amend a Money Bill. If a Money Bill is not returned to the Vidhana sabha within 14 days of receipt of the bill, the bill is deemed passed by both the houses in its original form. On Financial matters, the Vidhana Parishad is subordinate to the Vidhana Sabha. The Vidhana Parishad can only discuss the Budget but cannot make changes.

3. Control over the executive: The influence of the Legislative council over the executive is minimal because the executive is directly responsible to the Legislative assembly. It has the right to seek necessary information and records for suggestions but cannot directly control the administration. The upper House can ask questions and supplementary questions during which ministers are duty-bound to provide satisfactory answers. The Vidhana Parishad cannot initiate a motion of No-confidence to bring down the government as it is a nominated House.

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