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The Vidhan Sabha also known as Legislative Assembly is the lower house of state legislature in Indiamarker. Members of the Vidhan Sabha are direct representatives of the people of the particular state as they are directly elected by an electorate consisting of all adult citizens of that state. Its maximum size as outlined in the Constitution of India is not more than 500 members and not less than 60. However, it can be less than 60 by an Act of Parliament like in the states of Goamarker, Sikkimmarker and Mizorammarker. The Governor can appoint 1 member to represent the Anglo-Indian community if he or she finds that community to not be adequately represented in the House.

Each Vidhan Sabha is formed for a five year term after which all seats are up for election. During a State of Emergency, its term may be extended past five years or it may be dissolved. It can also be dissolved if a motion of no confidence is passed within it against the majority party or coalition.

Qualifications required to become a member

To become a member of the Vidhan Sabha, a person must be a citizen of Indiamarker, not less than 25 years of age. He should be mentally sound and should not be bankrupt. He should also state an affidavit that there are no criminal procedures against him.

The members of the Vidhan Sabha elect a Speaker of Vidhan Sabha who is responsible for the conduct of business of the body, and also a Deputy Speaker to preside during the Speaker's absence. The Speaker acts as a nuetral judge and manages all debates and discussions in the house. Usually he is a member of the stronger political party

The Vidhan Sabha holds equal legislative power with the upper house of state legislature, the Vidhan Parishad, except in the area of money bills in which case the Vidhan Sabha has the ultimate authority. 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 Vidhan Sabha would generally prevail, since the Vidhan Sabha includes more than twice as many members as the Vidhan Parishad.

Special powers of the Vidhan Sabha

A motion of no confidence against the government in the state can only be introduced in the Vidhan Sabha. If it is passed by a majority vote, then the Chief Minister and his Council of Ministers must collectively resign.

A money bill can only be introduced in Vidhan Sabha. After it is passed in the Vidhan Sabha, it is sent to the Vidhan Parishad, where it can be kept for a maximum time of 14 days. Unless the Vidhan Parishad rejects it or 14 days lapse or the suggestions made by the Vidhan Parishad are not acceptable to the Vidhan Sabha, the bill, the bill is considered passed. The budget of state is also presented in the Vidhan Sabha by the Finance Minister of the state in the name of the Governor of that state.

In matters related to ordinary bills, after it is passed by the originating house (that is either Vidhan Sabha or Vidhan Parishad) it is sent to the other house, where it can be kept for a maximum period of 6 months time. If the other house rejects the bill or 6 months pass or the suggestions made by the other house is not acceptable to the originating house, it results in a situation of deadlock. This is resolved by the Governor by calling a joint session of both houses which is presided over by the speaker of the Vidhan Sabha and decided by a simple majority. Since the Vidhan Sabha has greater numerical strength, it is in a position of advantage unless fractured by many different parties.

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