What are the essential features of Orissa Legislative Assembly?

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Orissa became a separate province on 1 April 1936 and election to the Orissa Legislative Assembly was held in April 1937. The Assembly had then 60 members. The sessions of the Assembly were held in the Hall of the Ravenshaw College.

Now the Orissa Legislative Assembly is located at Bhubaneswar. The second election to the Assembly was held in 1946. Both these Assembly elections were held under the Government of India Act, 1935.

After India's Independence, the first election to the Legislative Assembly was held in 1952 under the constitution if India. From 1952 to 1973, the Legislative Assembly had 140 members. In 1974, the number of MLAs was raised to 147. Of these seats, 22 and 34 seats are reserved for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. The present strength of the Legislative Assembly is 147.

In the Assembly election of Orissa held in 2009, the BJD came out victorious. It won 103 seats while the Congress v/as a poor second with 27 seats. The BJP's performance was very poor. It could get only six seats.

One BJP leader, contesting as Independent, was elected from Nilagiri of Balasore district. On the eve of this election, BJD broke its alliance with BJP, and forged electoral understanding with NCP, CPI and CPI (M). The BJD on its own formed government.

Orissa has a unicameral legislature known as legislative assembly or Vidhan Sabha. There is no Vidhan Parishad in Orissa.

Procedure of Lawmaking in a State Legislature

The procedure of lawmaking in a state legislature is identical to the procedure of lawmaking in the Parliament. (See the relevant portion in the Chapter on Union legislature).

A bill is a proposal for law. It can be introduced either by a Minister or by a member of the state legislature. When a bill is moved by a Minister, it is known as a Government Bill. When a private member of the legislature moves the bill, it is known as a Private Member's Bill.

There is no technical difference between these two types of bills. Both these bills will have to pass through the same procedure. However, most of the bills, , introduced in the legislature, are Government Bills, and a Government Bill has much better chance of approval than a Private Member's Bill.

Different Steps

1. First Reading:

The bill is introduced in the legislature. Only the title of the bill is read. After the permission is granted, it is published in the official gazette.

2. Second Reading:

The second reading of the bill involves three stages. First, the bill is moved for consideration. Secondly, the bill is referred to a Select Committee which, after due deliberation, submits report. Thirdly, the bill along with the report of the Select Committee is discussed in detail.

3. Third Reading:

The bill is put to vote. Voting takes place Clause wise and Article wise. If the bill has majority support, then it is considered passed.

Assent:

The bill, being passed by the legislature, is sent to the Governor for his assent. The Governor may give his assent to the bill or he may return it to the legislature for reconsideration. When the legislature, after reconsideration, sends back the bill to the Governor, the Governor is bound to give his assent to it.

The Governor may reserve some bills for the consideration of the President. In such a case, the President may give his assent or return it for reconsideration within six months. If the bill, after reconsideration, is again sent to the President for his assent he may or may not give his assent to it. In other words, the President has the power to veto the bills which the Governor reserves for the consideration of the President.


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