Full Form of MLA – Selection of an MLA – Powers of an MLA

Full Form of MLA :

Member of Legislative Assembly

MLA Full Form is Member of Legislative Assembly. MLA is a representative who is elected by various voters of a particular electoral district. He is one of the important members of the legislative assembly who debates on various issues associated with the development of the constituency he is in. At times, even the chief minister of a state can continue to hold the responsibilities or position of an MLA and hence the role of an MLA could be more than one.

MLA Full Form – Additional Information

The Government of India has the three-tiered structure of governance and each of these has its own executive functions to fulfill. The highest order is the Union or Central Government. Next in line is the State Government, where some political powers have been passed down from the Union Government to the elected parties in respective states. Final third tier is the local management system like the Municipalities and the Panchayats. Each State Government is required to have a Legislative Assembly, also known as Vidhan Sabha and its elected members are called MLAs or Members of Legislative Assembly.

Facilities and Salary of MLA
Facilities and Salary of MLA

Who are MLAs?

Member of Legislative Assembly or MLA is an elected representative of people from the various constituencies of the state. As a rule, the number of MLAs in a state cannot exceed 500 nor be less than 60. Nonetheless, there are a few exceptions like Mizoram and Goa having 40 members each, Puducherry with 30 and Sikkim with 32 members.

The responsibilities allotted to MLAs are at par with those of the Members of Parliament (MP) in the Lok Sabha. The Legislative Assembly is the topmost law- making authority in each state and the MLAs stand as people’s representative from each constituency in the state, to take care of the needs and problems of the region.

Each state is divided into many constituencies for easy administration. The residents of the region elect a representative on their behalf (MLA), who is responsible for putting forth the issues of the locality before the government and get various facilities and concessions as need be. These elected members hold the office for 5 years till the next election or can be dismissed if the Legislative Assembly is either dissolved before the term or if the MLA is found guilty of misconduct or fraud.

Selection of an MLA

India is a democratic country and thus, the people have the right to choose their leaders as well as their state level representatives. These are elected through voting system and the MLAs are local residents of the region who are aware of the difficulties and needs of the area. Thus, it is easier for them to put forth before the government various proposals for development and betterment of the region.To be eligible for the post of an MLA, the candidate needs to be an Indian citizen and minimum 25 years of age.

He should not have any post of profit in Indian Government or any other state government other than being a minister for the Union of India. The person should possess a sound mind and not have any offenses registered against him. The person should also have valid voting rights for Legislative Assembly constituency in the state that he wishes to represent. After serving the constituency as a Corporator and gaining the local people’s confidence by solving their problems and developing the area, a person finds it easy to gain access to the Legislative Assembly by filing candidature for the post of MLA.

Powers of an MLA

As an MLA, a person is conferred with many powers and has the authority to perform various functions as stated below.

  • Legislative powers: Member of Legislative Assembly has the most important responsibility of law-making in the state. The MLA has the right to exercise his legislative powers in two categories – the State list and the Concurrent list. Under the State list, the matters primarily related to the particular state are considered like commerce, trade, agriculture, irrigation, and development. On the other hand, the Concurrent list has matters that are important to the State as well as Union Government. They are policies related to education, forests, adoption, marriage, succession, etc.In the case of Concurrent list laws, unless the President gives his consent, the decisions made by the Parliament are held higher than the law adopted on those issues by the Legislative Assembly. Even though MLAs are considered the supreme lawmakers in the State, their governmental powers are not final.
  • Executive powers: The MLAs of a state have the control over the activities and proceedings conducted by the council of ministers and the Chief Minister. The ruling government of the state is accountable to the Legislative Assembly for its actions and decisions. A vote of no-confidence passed by the majority of MLAs can compel a ruling government to resign from power. Adjournment Motions, Question Hour and Cut Motions are various tactics exercised by the Members of Legislative Assembly in order to constrain the executive body of the state government.
  • Financial powers: The financial powers of the state rest in the hands of the Legislative Assembly. The MLAs need to give approval for any expenses to be made from the State Treasury and that is projected in the Money Bill that originates only in the Assembly. The MLAs also have the authority to sanction the tax-raising proposals and grants before they can be implemented for the development of the State.
  • Voting powers: The MLAs are part of the voting body that elects the Indian President. They also have the power to select the members of the Rajya Sabha who are responsible for representing a particular state. The MLAs also vote for the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Assembly.Besides, the MLAs review reports submitted by the Accountant General and Public Service Commission and appoint various Committees as needed.

Election of MLA and term duration

Each Legislative Assembly has office tenure of 5 years. After this, the Assembly is dissolved and new members are elected. Thus, Members of Legislative Assembly hold the office for 5 years after which the voters from each constituency vote to select their representative, the MLA. The Assembly elections are held in each state after five years but are not simultaneous in nature. Each state holds elections at different times. Adult voters exercise their voting franchise and directly select the candidates who represent the matters of the constituency.

However, the Governor of the state has the right to elect one person from Anglo-Indian community if it is felt that they lack the representation in the House to voice their issues.Sometimes, the Legislative Assembly is suspended by the Governor at the behest of the Chief Minister before the 5-year tenure and new elections are held. It is not mandatory that the previous MLAs are re-elected.

Facilities and Salary of MLA

The salary of the MLA is decided by individual state’s legislature and has added perks to the basic salary like daily allowance, constituency allowance, and expense allowance and so on. The salaries of the MLAs of different states vary from each other. The facilities extended to the MLAs include medical, travel and residence facilities and they get a reimbursement of their phone and electricity bills.

The amount sanctioned for each facility again differs from state to state. Each state administration assigns particular emoluments to its serving members that include the ministers, MLAs, etc. However, the amount again differs from one state to another. Thus, each MLA is permitted to obtain a certain fixed amount as pension after successful completion of his term.