Karnataka State Legislative Assembly

At its inception, Karnataka State Legislative Assembly was an assembly that held the representatives of the landholders and merchants in Karnataka. Karnataka State Legislative Assembly is an extension of the Representative Assembly that was formed under the orders of the Maharaja.

It was on 7th October, 1881 that the Representative Assembly met for the first time. The representative landholders and merchants that took active part in the assembly were selected from the Local Boards or from each of the taluks of Karnataka. Besides, the representatives also comprised of the leading merchants, who were selected from each district of Karnataka.

The principle of election was introduced in the Representative Assembly in 1891. With the introduction of the election, people paying certain revenues known as 'mohatarfa' and the graduates from the Indian Universities were eligible for contesting in the elections, as well as for voting. The people rendered eligible as per the rules, were to meet annually in order to elect a representative from amongst themselves.

Furthermore, the rules of the Assembly were revised in 1894 and the municipalities that contained of more than 5000 people could only send their representatives. Moreover, to enlarge the electorate of the Assembly, a minimum qualification for voting was fixed at half the land revenue. Furthermore, in 1918, the property qualifications were abolished and a uniform rate was introduced. In 1919, the Municipalities were given larger representation and terms of office of these candidates were raised to three years. It was the Regulation of 1923 that fixed the term of the Legislative Assembly.

The Regulative Assembly constituted in 1881 continued till 1923. In 1923, the Assembly was given a statutory status by a Regulation promulgated by the Maharaja. Initially, the members of the Assembly did not actually participate in the Maharaja's Council; they made contributions to the government by observing the activities of the government. But, in 1940, the members of the Assembly were absorbed in the Government through the Government of Mysore Act of 1940. The Dewan used to preside over the Representative Assembly and the Legislative Council; but in 1940, the Legislative Council was given the power to elect its own President and Vice-President.

It is noteworthy that the Legislature of Karnataka is bicameral whereby the Legislative Assembly holds 1 nominated member and 224 elected members. The tenure of the Legislative Assembly in Karnataka is 5 years.

Last Updated on 21 September 2011

  Government and Politics