Difference between Rajya Sabha, Vidhan Sabha and Lok Sabha

Key Difference: The Rajya Sabha, Vidhan Sabha and Lok Sabha are various forms of legislatures in the Indian Government system. The Rajya Sabha is the upper house of the Parliament of India. The Lok Sabha, on the other hand, is the lower house of the Parliament of India. The Vidhan Sabha is the sole house of the state legislature in case of a unicameral legislature, or the lower house of the state legislature in case of a bicameral legislature.

The Rajya Sabha, Vidhan Sabha and Lok Sabha are various forms of legislatures in the Indian Government system. A legislature is nothing more than a decision-making organization. It is part of the country’s government and has the power to enact, amend and repeal laws. The also have the power to create and amend budgets, as well as observe and steer governing actions.

However, as it would be imprudent to give all the power to one segment of the government, it was decided that it would be better to divide the power into different segments. Hence, the national legislature of India is divided into two: the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha. Whereas, the state legislature, which is different than the national legislature, is also often divided into two: the Vidhan Sabha and the Vidhan Parishad.

The Rajya Sabha is the upper house of the Parliament of India. It is also known as the Council of States, as “Rajya” means states and “Sabha” means assembly. There are 250 members of the Rajya Sabha. The seats are actually allotted depending on the population of each state or union territory. The number also includes an additional 12 members who are nominated by the President for their contributions to art, literature, science, and social services. The rest are selected by the state and territorial legislatures. Members sit for six-year terms, with one third of the members retiring every two years.

Wikipedia lists the functions of the Rajya Sabha as:

  • Any bill (non-financial), in general, has to be approved by Rajya Sabha even if approved by Lok Sabha.
  • Equal Powers with the Lok 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 Lok 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 Lok 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 Lok 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.
  • The house is not subject to dissolution which is a limitation for Lok Sabha.

The Lok Sabha, on the other hand, is the lower house of the Parliament of India. It is also known as the House of the People, as “Lok” means People, and “Sabha” means Assembly. The Lok Shabha is made up of 552 members, of which 530 are members to represent the States, 20 members to represent the Union Territories and not more than two members of the Anglo-Indian Community, who are appointed by the President of India. The other members are actually chosen by direct election by the public. At the end of the elections, which ever party has the majority in the Lok Sabha, gets to appoint the Prime Minister of India.

The Lok Sabha is considered to be the more powerful than the Rajya Sabha, as the Rajya Sabha faced some limitations which are not imposed on the Lok Sabha. The Rajya Sabha cannot pass any budgets or financial bill, it may one send recommendations to the Lok Sabha, who reserves the right to pass these bills. However, if a President deems it necessary, he or she may declare a state of emergency and dissolve the Lok Sabha.

The following are the list of powers as stated by Wikipedia:

  • 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 by 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 Parliament. It cannot be dissolved. This is a limitation on the Lok Sabha. But there is a possibility that president can exceed the term to not more than 1 year under the proclamation of emergency and the same would be lowered down to six-month if the said proclamation ceases to operate.

Now the Vidhan Sabha is different than the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha, as it belongs to the state legislature, as opposed to the national Parliament. Most of the states in India have a unicameral legislature, which means that it has only one house or chamber. In this case, the state legislature is known as the Vidhan Sabha or Legislative Assembly. However, six states in the country have a bicameral legislature, i.e. two houses. In that case, the Vidhan Sabha is the lower house in the legislature, while the upper house is called the Legislative Council, or Vidhan Parishad. In case of a unicameral legislature, the Vidhan Sabha holds all the power of the state legislature, whereas in a bicameral legislature, the powers are divided between the two houses.

The members of a Vidhan Sabha are direct representatives of the people of the particular state, which means that they are directly elected by the people. As outlined in the Constitution of India, the member of a Vidhan Sabha cannot be more than 500 members and cannot be less than 60 members. However, the size of the Vidhan sabha can be less than 60 members through an Act of Parliament, such is the case in the states of Goa, Sikkim and Mizoram. Furthermore, the Governor can appoint 1 member to represent minorities, e.g. the Anglo-Indian community, if he finds that minority to not be adequately represented in the House.

Each Vidhan Sabha is formed for a five-year term, after which the elections are held again. However, during a State of Emergency, its term may be extended past five years or it may be dissolved by the Governor on the request of Chief Minister.

The powers of the Vidhan Sabha according to Wikipedia:

  • 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. In bicameral jurisdictions, 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 a by the Finance Minister of the state in the name of the Governor of that state.
  • In matters related to ordinary bills, the will of Legislative Assembly prevails and there is no provision of joint sitting. In such cases, Legislative council can delay the legislation by maximum 4 months (3 months in first visit and 1 month in the second visit of the bill).

Comparison between Rajya Sabha, Vidhan Sabha and Lok Sabha:

 

Rajya Sabha

Lok Sabha

Vidhan Sabha

Translation

Council of States

House of the People

Legislative Assembly

Definition

The upper house of the Indian Parliament.

The lower house of the Indian Parliament.

The sole house of the state legislature in case of a unicameral legislature, or the lower house of the state legislature in case of a bicameral legislature.

Part of

Indian Parliament

Indian Parliament

state legislature

Number of members

250 members

552 members

Not more than 500, not less than 60.

Seat Allocation

The seats are actually allotted depending on the population of each state or union territory. The number also includes an additional 12 members who are nominated by the President for their contributions to art, literature, science, and social services.

530 are members to represent the States, 20 members to represent the Union Territories and not more than two members of the Anglo-Indian Community, who are appointed by the President of India.

The size of the Vidhan sabha can be less than 60 members through an Act of Parliament.

Member Elected by

State and territorial legislatures

Direct Public Vote

Direct Public Vote

Term Duration

Six Years

Five Years

Five Years

Dissolution

Cannot be dissolved

Can be dissolved is a state of emergency by the President of India

Can be dissolved is a state of emergency by the Governor of the state.

Functions

Has the power to enact, amend and repeal laws. Must approve any non-financial bill even if approved by Lok Sabha.

Has the power to enact, amend and repeal laws. Has the power to create and amend budgets and financial bills.

Has the power to enact, amend and repeal laws. Has the power to create and amend budgets and financial bills. But only on the state level.

Image Courtesy: rajyasabha.nic.in, loksabha.nic.in, mpvidhansabha.nic.in

Most Searched in Society and Culture Most Searched in Entertainment and Music
Most Searched in Sports Most Searched in Cars and Transportation
Creche vs Nativity
SLR vs DSLR Camera
Dollar vs Rupee
SWIFT Code vs RTGS

Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.