Government works at three levels – local, state and national. The government that works at the state level is called the state government.
MLAs are elected by the people. They represent people. Each state in India has a legislative assembly. Each state is divided into different areas called constituencies. From each constituency the people elect one representative who then becomes an MLA. These MLAs belong to different parties. A political party whose MLAs have won more than half the number of constituencies can be said to be in a majority. The political party that has majority is called the ruling party. All other parties are called the opposition.
The chief minister is elected by the MLAs of the ruling party. The chief minister then selects other people as ministers. The Governor of the state appoints the chief ministers and other ministers after the elections. The chief ministers and other ministers have the responsibility of running various government departments or ministries. They have separate offices. Some MLAs have dual responsibilities: as an MLA and also as a minister.
It is a place where all the MLAs, whether from the ruling party or from the opposition meet to discuss various things. During a discussion in the Legislative Assembly, the MLAs can express their views on any current problems, ask questions and give suggestions. The problems might be regarding the condition of roads, hospitals or any other matter affecting the lives of the people. Those who wish to can respond to this. The minister then replies and gives an assurance to the Assembly that the concerns will be addressed. The chief minister and other ministers take decision to run the government. However, whatever decision is taken have to be approved by the other members. This is the essence of democracy: where the members have a right to ask questions and debate on topics.
The term ‘government’ in common parlance, refers to the various governments and the ministers who head them.
Legislature: All the MLAs who gather together (assemble) in the Legislative Assembly are called the Legislature. They are the ones who authorize and supervise their work.
Executive: The overall head of the government is called the Executive. The chief minister is the head of the government.
The Legislative Assembly is not the only place where the work of the government is analyzed and questions raised. All newspapers and media widely discuss current issues and the government has to respond for example, by holding press conferences.
The people in power like the chief minister have to take steps for solving problems of drinking water, sanitation, road condition etc. They do so through various departments like
The government can also decide to make new laws for the state for example regarding sanitation and health facilities. For instance, it may make it compulsory for the municipal corporation to ensure that there are adequate toilets in each area. The act of making new laws is made in the legislative assembly of each state. The implementation of these laws is done by the various government departments. Laws for the entire country are made in the Parliament.
Constituency: A particular area from where all the voters living there choose their representatives. This could for example be a panchayat ward or an area that chooses an MLA.
Majority: This is a situation where more than half the members of a group support a decision or idea. It is also called simple majority.
Opposition: This refers to the elected representatives who are not members of the ruling party and who play the role of questioning the government decisions and actions as well as raise new issues for consideration in the Assembly.
Press Conference: A gathering of journalists from the media who are invited to hear about and ask questions on a particular issue and are then expected to report on this to the larger public.
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