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The Lok Sabha (also titled the House of the People, by the Constitution) is the directly elected lower house of the Parliament of India. As of 2009 there have been fifteen Lok Sabhas elected by the people of India. The Constitution limits the Lok Sabha to a maximum of 552 members, including no more than 20 members representing people from the Union Territories, and two members to represent the Anglo-Indian community (if the President feels that that community is not adequately represented). The current strength of the Lok Sabha has 545 members including the Speaker and two appointed members, if any.

Each Lok Sabha is formed for a five-year term, after which it is automatically dissolved, unless extended by a Proclamation of Emergency which may extend the term in one-year increments. The 15th Lok Sabha was formed in May 2009

An exercise to redraw Lok Sabha constituencies' boundaries has been carried out by the Delimitation Commission based on the Indian census of 2001. This exercise, which was supposed to be carried out after every census, was suspended in 1976 following a constitutional amendment to avoid adverse effects of the family planning program which was being implemented.. Today, the Lok Sabha has its own TV channel, Lok Sabha TV, headquartered within the Parliament premises.

Membership qualifications

Membership of the Lok Sabha requires that the person must be a citizen of Indiamarker, aged 25 or over, mentally sound, should not be bankrupt and has no criminal procedures against him/her. For reserved seats one should be member of the scheduled castes and/or tribes.

Sessions and working hours

On normal business days, the Lok Sabha assembles from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and again from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. The first hour of every sitting is called the Question Hour, during which questions posed by members may be assigned to specific government ministries, to be answered at a fixed date in the future.

The Lok Sabha shares legislative power with the Rajya Sabha, except in the area of Money Bills, in which case the Lok Sabha has the ultimate authority in the case of money bill it is only sent to the rajya sabha for recomendations and other related issues it is send with a period of 14 working days in that span of time if it is not returned it is considered as passed. If conflicting legislation is enacted by the two Houses, a joint sitting is held to resolve the differences. In such a session, the members of the Lok Sabha would generally prevail, since the Lok Sabha includes more than twice as many members as the Rajya Sabha.

Three sessions of Lok Sabha take place in a year:
  • Budget session: February to May.
  • Monsoon session: July to September.
  • Winter session: November to December.


Powers, including the special powers of the Lok Sabha

The special powers of the Lok Sabha is the reason why the Lok Sabha is de facto and de jure more powerful than the Rajya Sabha.

  • Motions of no confidence against the government can only be introduced and passed in the Lok Sabha. If passed by a majority vote, the Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers resigns collectively. The Rajya Sabha has no power over such a motion, and hence no real power over the executive. However, the Prime Minister may threaten the dissolution of the Lok Sabha and recommend this to the President, forcing an untimely general election. The President normally accepts this recommendation unless otherwise convinced that the Lok Sabha might recommend a new Prime Minister by a majority vote. Thus, both the executive and the legislature in India have checks and balances over each other.


  • Money bills can only be introduced in the Lok Sabha, and upon being passed, are sent to the Rajya Sabha, where it can be deliberated on for up to 14 days. If not rejected by the Rajya Sabha, or 14 days lapse from the introduction of the bill in the Rajya Sabha without any action by the House, or recommendations made by the Rajya Sabha are not accepted by the Lok Sabha, the bill is considered passed. The budget is presented in the Lok Sabha by the Finance Minister in the name of the President of India.


  • In matters pertaining to non-financial (ordinary) bills, after the bill has been passed by the House where it was originally tabled (Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha), it is sent to the other house, where it may be kept for a maximum period of 6 months. If the other House rejects the bill or a period of 6 months elapses without any action by that House, or the House that originally tabled the bill does not accept the recommendations made by the members of the other house, it results in a deadlock. This is resolved by a joint session of both Houses, presided over by the Speaker of the Lok Sabha and decided by a simple majority. The will of the Lok Sabha normally prevails in these matters, as its strength is more than double that of the Rajya Sabha.


  • Equal Powers with the Rajya Sabha in initiating and passing any Bill for Constitutional Amendment (by a majority of the total membership of the House and at least two-thirds majority of the members present and voting).


  • Equal Powers with the Rajya Sabha in initiating and passing a motion for the impeachment of the President (by two-thirds of the membership of the House).


  • Equal Powers with the Rajya Sabha in initiating and passing a motion for the impeachment of the judges of the Supreme Court and the state High Courts (by a majority of the membership of the House and at least two-thirds majority of the members present and voting).


  • Equal Powers with the Rajya Sabha in initiating and passing a resolution declaring war or national emergency (by two-thirds majority) or constitutional emergency (by simple majority) in a state.


  • If the Lok Sabha is dissolved before or after the declaration of a National Emergency, the Rajya Sabha becomes the sole de facto and de jure Parliament. It cannot be dissolved. This is a limitation on the Lok Sabha.


Composition by states and territories

Subdivision Type No. of constituencies
Delhimarker State 7
Andhra Pradeshmarker State 42
Arunachal Pradeshmarker State 2
Assammarker State 14
Biharmarker State 40
Chandigarhmarker Union Territory 1
Chhattisgarhmarker State 11
Dadra and Nagar Havelimarker Union Territory 1
Daman and Diumarker Union Territory 1
Andaman and Nicobar Islandsmarker Union Territory 1
Goamarker State 2
Gujaratmarker State 26
Haryanamarker State 10
Himachal Pradeshmarker State 4
Jammu and Kashmirmarker State 6
Jharkhandmarker State 14
Karnatakamarker State 28
Keralamarker State 20
Lakshadweepmarker Union Territory 1
Madhya Pradeshmarker State 29
Maharashtramarker State 48
Manipurmarker State 2
Meghalayamarker State 2
Mizorammarker State 1
Nagalandmarker State 1
Orissamarker State 21
Pondicherrymarker State 1
Punjabmarker State 13
Rajasthanmarker State 25
Sikkimmarker State 1
Tamil Nadumarker State 39
Tripuramarker State 2
Uttarakhandmarker State 5
Uttar Pradeshmarker State 80
West Bengalmarker State 42


Lok Sabha and general election

Lok Sabha is constituted after the general election as follows

SN Lok Sabha General Election
1 1st Lok Sabha Indian general election, 1951
2 2nd Lok Sabha Indian general election, 1957
3 3rd Lok Sabha Indian general election, 1962
4 4th Lok Sabha Indian general election, 1967
5 5th Lok Sabha Indian general election, 1971
6 6th Lok Sabha Indian general election, 1977
7 7th Lok Sabha Indian general election, 1980
8 8th Lok Sabha Indian general election, 1984
9 9th Lok Sabha Indian general election, 1989
10 10th Lok Sabha Indian general election, 1991
11 11th Lok Sabha Indian general election, 1996
12 12th Lok Sabha Indian general election, 1998
13 13th Lok Sabha Indian general election, 1999
14 14th Lok Sabha Indian general election, 2004
15 15th Lok Sabha Indian general election, 2009


See also



References

  1. Election Commission India


External links




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