State governments of India

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State governments in India are the governments ruling States of India, and the head of the council of ministers in a state is chief minister. Power is divided between the central government and state governments. While the central government handles military and external affairs etc., the state governments deal with internal security (through state police) and other state issues. Income for the central government is from customs duty, excise tax, income tax etc., while state government income comes from sales tax (VAT), stamp duty etc.

The Sarkaria Commission was set up to review the balance of power between states and the union. The central government can dissolve a state government in favor of President's rule if necessary. The state of Jammu and Kashmir has higher autonomy compared to other states by virtue of Article 370.


State governments' legislatures are bicameral in seven states and unicameral in the rest. All the members of the lower houses are elected for a five-year term, and one-third of the members of the upper houses, in bicameral states, are elected every two years for a six-year term.

The Indian Constitution allows states to have either a unicameral or bicameral legislature. A state is said to be unicameral if it has only one house of parliament. The numbers in the brackets indicate the number of seats in the lower and upper house respectively. Most of the newer states are unicameral and only a few of the older states (6 states out of 28) still remain bicameral. In a state with a bicameral legislature, the lower house is called the Legislative Assembly or Vidhan Sabha and the upper house is called the Legislative Council or Vidhan Parishad. By law, the upper house can not be more than 1/3 the total size of the lower house but must have more than 40 seats (except in the case of the state of Jammu and Kashmir which is allowed by special legislation to have less than 40 seats in its Legislative Council.)

The upper house, Vidhan Parishad, has limited legislative powers, and was primarily intended for consultation and can not hold up legislation passed by the lower house, the Vidhan Sabha, for more than a few months. The lower house, Legislative Assembly, is composed of members directly elected from individual constituencies; while the upper house, the Legislative Council, consists of members elected by the Lower House, members nominated by the State government, and members elected from specially designated teacher's and graduate's constituencies.

There is overall 4120 Assembly seats in states and UTs in India.[1][2][3] Andhra Pradesh abolished its legislative council in 1984, but has set up a new legislative Council following elections in 2007.[citation needed]

State Legislature type Size
West Bengal Unicameral 295
Tamil Nadu Unicameral 234
Madhya Pradesh Unicameral 231
Rajasthan Unicameral 200
Gujarat Unicameral 182
Orissa Unicameral 147
Kerala Unicameral 141
Assam Unicameral 126
Punjab Unicameral 117
Haryana Unicameral 90
Chhattisgarh Unicameral 90
Jharkhand Unicameral 81
Himachal Pradesh Unicameral 68
Arunachal Pradesh Unicameral 60
Tripura Unicameral 60
Nagaland Unicameral 60
Manipur Unicameral 60
Meghalaya Unicameral 60
Goa Unicameral 40
Mizoram Unicameral 40
Sikkim Unicameral 32
Uttarakhand Unicameral 70
Pondicherry Unicameral 30
Delhi Unicameral 70
State Legislature type Size
Uttar Pradesh Bicameral 404 + 100
Maharashtra Bicameral 288 + 78
Bihar Bicameral 243 + 75
Karnataka Bicameral 224 + 75
Jammu and Kashmir Bicameral 89 + 36
Andhra Pradesh Bicameral 175 + 50[4]
Telangana Bicameral 119 + 40


Many regional parties and national parties are in power in states of India. Coalition cabinet exists in some states.


State executive branches are headed by governors appointed by central government president and cabinet are also members. Cabinet size can be maximum of 15% the number of legislators in lower house, the law passed during Vajpayee's central government.


State High courts have jurisdiction over the whole state, but report to the Supreme Court of India, which may override the high court's judgements and rulings.

See also