The political system of India is quasi-federal in nature. Key features of the federation, such as two governments, division of powers, bicameralism, etc., are an integral part of the Indian Constitution. The country has a parliament at the central and a state legislature in each of the states. Regular elections are held to elect members of each legislature.
At the central level, there is the parliament of India. It consists of the President of India and two houses i.e., the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.
Lok Sabha is also known as the Popular House since the members of this house are directly elected by the people. It has 543 members. The normal tenure of the Lok Sabha is five years.
Rajya Sabha is also known as the upper house or the council of states. It has 245 members as per the current law. The actual strength of the house is 250 members. Not more than 238 members are elected by the representatives of the states and union territories. They are elected from different states by the states’ legislative assemblies through proportional representation using single transferable votes. The President nominates twelve members on the advice of the union council of ministers from amongst the persons having wide experience or special knowledge in the fields of literature, science, art and social service. This is a permanent house and is not subject to dissolution. Its members are elected for six years, and 1/3 of its members retire every two years.
As mentioned earlier, India has a quasi-federal structure where states have their legislature. All states in India come with a state legislative assembly. There are some states which have two houses, a legislative assembly and a legislative council. The strength of the legislative council should not exceed 500 and should not be less than 60 (Goa and Sikkim are special cases. The people directly elect members to the legislative assembly. Only six states in India have a legislative council. These include Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra and Karnataka. The strength of the legislative council should not exceed 1/3 of the total strength of the legislative assembly of the state and it should not be less than 40. The legislative council members are elected in various proportions by members of the legislative assembly graduates, teachers, local bodies and governors of that particular state.