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Indian Polity / State Legislature

How to Become an MLA: Qualification and Disqualification

To become an MLA, by contesting for the State Legislative Assembly, a member should have attained the age of 25 years and meet some eligibility criteria. Similarly, for contesting for the State Legislative Council, the member should have attained the age of 30 years. Article 173 deals with qualification of an MLA or MLC. Similarly, Article 191 deals with disqualification of an MLA or MLC. Article 190 and Representation of Peoples Act, 1951 deal with the vacation of a seat in State Legislature.

Qualification to contest for the Member of State Legislature

  • He must be a citizen of India either natural or naturalized.

  • He should not hold any office of profit.

  • He should be a voter of any Legislative Assembly Constituency in that State.

  • After getting elected, every member has to take oath or affirmation before the Governor or some person assigned by him. Without taking oath, if he sits in the State Legislature, he has to pay a stipulated penalty for each day.

Disqualification of the Member of State Legislature

A Member of the State Legislature will be disqualified

  • If he or she is holding office of profit.

  • If he has an unsound mind or declared so by a competent court.

  • If he is an undischarged insolvent.

  • If he acquires citizenship of a foreign country or he renounces Indian citizenship voluntarily.

  • If he has any proven criminal charges.

  • On the reasons of election malpractices.

  • On the grounds of anti-defection such as if he voluntarily gives up his membership of the particular party through which he got elected or if he votes or refrains from voting contrary to the instructions given by the political party to which he belongs or if an elected independent candidate joins any political party or a nominated candidate joins any political party.

Vacation of Seats in State Legislature

  • If a member of State Legislature resigns to his office by addressing it to the presiding officer in his own handwriting.

  • No person should be a member of both the Houses of State Legislature. The vacation of the seat in such case is decided by a Law made by the State Legislature.

  • No person shall be a member of two or more State Legislatures. If any person becomes a member of the Legislatures of two or more States, he will lose all the seats at the expiration of a duration specified in the Rules made by the President, unless he resigns his seats in all the Legislatures except one, which he wants retain.

    Since a person can contest for the State Legislature only if he is voter of any Legislative Assembly Constituency in that State, this situation may arise if after getting elected in one State, the MLA or MLC registers as voter in other State and tries to contest in that State.

  • If a member abstains for a period of 60 days from all the meetings of a House without taking permission of the House.

    While calculating 60 days, the period in which the House is adjourned or prorogued for more than 4 consecutive days will not be taken into account.

  • If the High Court of a state invalidates the election of member of the State Legislature.