The Legislative Assembly is the popular chamber and the powerful legislative body in the State.
It is composed of member; directly elected by the people in territorial constituencies in which the State is divided.
The suffrage is universal and the elections art conducted under the supervision and direction of the Election Commission.
According to the constitutional provisions certain seat’ are reserved for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in State Legislative Assembly.
The Constitution, further, provides that the maximum strength of a Legislative Assembly must not exceed 500 or its minimum strength will not fall below 60.
The seats in the Legislative Council are also decided by the Parliament according’ the population of the State.
The following table indicates the number of seats in the State Legislative Councils and Assemblies in India with the latest party position in different Legislative Assemblies
The following qualifications are necessary for a person seeking election to the Legislative Assembly of a State:
(a) He must be a citizen of India,
(b) He must not be less that 25 years of age. And
(c) He must possess such other qualifications as may by law be prescribed by the Parliament. In case of reserved seats for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes of a State, a person must be in addition to the above qualifications, a member of any of those Castes and Tribes.
The normal life of a Legislative Assembly is 5 years. The Constitution (Forty-Second Amendment) Act, 1976 had extended it to 6 years. The Janata Government has restored it to five years again. But it may be dissolved earlier by the Governor.
If there is proclamation of emergency in operation, the Parliament may by law extend the said time, not exceeding one year at a time, and in no case beyond a period of 6 months after the proclamation has ceased to operate.
As already referred, each State is divided into a number of constituencies for the purpose of election to the Legislative Assembly.
The Assembly has to elect its officers-the Speaker and Deputy Speaker who are in-charge of conducting the proceedings and the business of the House.
The powers and position of these two officers in conducting the business of the House are same as those of the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the House of the People respectively.
They may be removed from office by resolution of the House supported by at least a majority of all the existing members of the House. They are entitled to such salaries and allowances as may be fixed by the Legislature of the State.
The members of the State Legislature enjoy certain privileges “like freedom of speech, freedom from arrest, etc., for better discharge of their duties. No member of the State Legislature is liable to any Proceeding in any Court of Law for anything said by him on the of the State Legislature.
The members of the State Legislature also receive daily allowances during the sessions of the Legislature. At the Commencement of each session the Governor addresses the legislative Assembly or in case of the State having a bi-cameral legislature both the Houses assembled together.