*   Introduction
    In common usage the word ‘government’ refers to government departments and various ministers who head them. The government at the State level functions almost similarly as that a the government at the Centre. Just we have the President, Prime                 Minister and Council of Ministers forming the executive at the Centre, at the State level we have the Governor, Chief Minister and the Council of Ministers. 

*   The State Legislatures
1.    Like the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha at the Centre, the states have Legislative Council (Vidhan Parishad) and the Legislative Assembly (Vidhan Sabha). 
2.    Most states of India have only the lower house or vidhan Sabha. When a state has only one house, it is called a UNICAMERAL LEGISLATURE. 
3.    Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra and Karnataka have both the houses. States with both houses are called BICAMERAL LEGISLATURES. 


Vidhan Parishad or Legislative Council
    Members of the Vidhan Parishad are elected from various bodies :
1.    Electorates formed out of local self-governing bodies elect 1/3rd of the members.
2.    Members of the Vidhan Sabha elect 1/3rd of the members.
3.    A constituency of graduates elects 1/12th.
4.    Teachers of secondary schools, colleges and universities elect 1/12th.
5.    1/6th are nominated by the State Governor from eminent people in the field of music, art, science, social services, etc.

Vidhan Sabha or Legislative Assembly
1.    Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) are elected by the people.
2.    The Vidhan Sabha cannot have more than 500 members. 
3.    Members are elected for a term of five years unless the government is dismissed before the full term is complete.
4.    This members are called MLAs.
5.    The Vidhan Sabha elects a Speaker and a Deputy Speaker who performs the same functions as the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha.

Relation Between Vidhan Parishad And Vidhan Sabha
1.    Money bills can be introduced only in the Vidhan Sabha. 
2.    The Vidhan Parishad has to reject or pass the money bill within 14 days, otherwise the bill is considered passed.
3.    The Vidhan Parishad has little power over ordinary bills too. If the Vidhan Parishad rejects a bill or makes changes, or withholds it for three months, the Vidhan Sabha can pass it again. This time the bill is considered passed if the Vidhan Parishad does          not return the bill within one month.
    Thus, we can see that the Vidhan Sabha has more powers than the Vidhan Parishad.

The Governor
1.    The Governor is the nominal head of the State Government. 
2.    He/She acts as a link between the Centre and the State.
3.    The President in consultation with the Prime Minister appoints the Governor.

1.    To be appointed as a Governor, the candidate must be a citizen of India. 
2.    Minimum age at least Thirty five years. 

1.    The Governor is appointed for a five year period.
2.    But the President can recall the Governor before the term is over or extend it by another five years term.

    The Governor appoints the Council of Ministers and all the top-level state officials,
     Advocate-General, Chairman and / Members of the State Public Service Commission, etc.

Legislative Powers
1.    The Governor summons and prorogues the sessions of the State Legislature and addresses the first sesion of the Legislative Assembly. 
2.    No bill can become a law without the Governor’s assent. 
3.    The Governor can issue orders known as ORDINANCES. 
4.    These Ordinances remain in force till six weeks of the next session of the State Legislature unless disallowed by the Legislature. 
5.    The general budget is presented in the State Legislative Assembly in the Governor’s name.

Executive Powers
1.    The Governor is the constitutional head of the state. 
2.     He appoints the leader of the majority party in the State Vidhan Sabha as the Chief Minister of the State.

Judicial Powers
1.    The Governor has the power to pardon or reduce a sentence. 
2.     If the Governor feels that the State is not functioning along the constitutional lines, he/she can inform the President.

*    The Chief Minister
1.    The real power lies with the Chief Minister who is the leader of the majority party or a combination of political parties in the Legislative Assembly.
2.    The Governor on the advice of the Chief Minister appoints other ministers.
3.    The Chief Minister and the Council of Ministers are responsible to the Stage Legislative Assembly. 
4.    They work as a team and stay in power as long as they enjoy the confidence of the State Legislative Assembly.
5.    The Chief Minister presides over Cabinet meetings and has the power to appoint and, dismiss or the members from the Council of Ministers. 
6.    The Chief Minister acts as the link between the Governor and the Council of Ministers and coordinates the work of different ministries.
7.    The Chief minister and other ministers have the responsibility of running various government departments or ministries. 

The Speaker
    The Vidhan Sabha elects a Speaker and a Deputy Speaker who performs the same functions as the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha.

Functions of the Speaker
1.    The Speaker presides over the meetings of the Vidhan Sabha.
2.    No bills or resolutions can be passed without his permission.
3.    Speaker decides whether a bill is a money bill or not.
4.   The Speaker maintains discipline in the House.
      The Vidhan Sabha makes laws on the subjects in the State list. The procedure for passing a law is similar to that at the Centre. However, if a Governor feels that a particular law will not benefit the nation, he can withhold his assent and send it to the                President.

Illustration 1.
    What do you mean by the word majority?
    This is a situation when more than half the number in a group supports a decision or an idea. This is also called a simple majority.

Illustration 2.
    What do you mean by the word opposition?
    This refers to elected representatives who are not members of the ruling party and who play the role of questioning government decisions and actions as well as raise new issues for consideration in the Assembly.

Illustration 3.
    What is Constituency?
    A particular area from which all the voters living and choose their representatives. This could be, for example, a panchayat word or an area that chooses an MLA.