Ahead of MLC bypolls in Telangana, know Legislative Council members’ duties

Hyderabad: The Election Commission is set to conduct MLC bypolls for two MLA quota seats in the Telangana Legislative Council on January 29.

With the deadline for nomination submissions on January 18, political parties are in a race against time to select their candidates.

Ahead of MLC bypolls in Telangana, there is curiosity among the public about the responsibilities of MLCs.

Composition of the Telangana Legislative Council

The Telangana Legislative Council, serving as the upper house of the state legislature, comprises 40 members.

Currently, the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) dominates the house with 27 members. There are two members each from the Indian National Congress (INC) and All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM).

Additionally, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Telangana Jana Samithi (TJS) each have one member, while the other two members are independents.

Party Number of members
BRS 27
Independent 2

There are currently five vacant seats in the Telangana Legislative Council, including two under the MLA quota, vacated after MLCs Kadiyam Srihari and Padi Kaushik Reddy were elected as MLAs in the recent assembly polls.

The upcoming MLC bypolls are likely to change the composition of Telangana Legislative Council.

Duties of MLCs in Telangana and other states

Although Legislative Councils in Telangana and other states are considered upper houses, the Indian Constitution grants them limited powers.

MLCs serve a fixed six-year tenure compared to MLAs, whose tenure is five years or less in the event of Assembly dissolution.

Regarding duties, MLCs have fewer responsibilities and powers than MLAs, as evident in the legislative bill passage procedure.

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Legislative procedure in state legislature

In Telangana and other states, an ordinary bill can originate in either house, however, it must be passed by both the Legislative Assembly and Council to become law.

The Legislative Assembly holds an upper hand in both of the following two possible scenarios:

  1. If the bill originates in the Council and the house passes it, it must also pass in the Assembly, or it becomes void.
  2. If the bill originates in the Assembly and the house passes it, the Council’s approval is not mandatory. Even without Council approval, it is deemed as passed by both houses and the bill will become law. The Council can at most delay the process by four months.

In both scenarios, the act will become law after the governor gives consent to it.

Do all Indian states have Legislative Councils?

Currently, only six states have Legislative Councils:

  1. Andhra Pradesh
  2. Bihar
  3. Karnataka
  4. Maharashtra
  5. Telangana and
  6. Uttar Pradesh

As per Article 169 of the Indian Constitution, the Parliament of India can establish or abolish State Legislative Councils, but only after the state legislature passes a resolution with a simple majority.