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The Role of the Parliament

The Parliament of India has two houses:
  • The Lok Sabha and
  • The Rajya Sabha

Parliament House an Aerial View


Lok Sabha


Rajya Sabha


  • The Lok Sabha, known as the House of the People, with a total membership of 543, is presided over by the Speaker.
  • The Rajya Sabha, known as the Council of States, with a total strength of 245 members, is chaired by the Vice-President of India.
  • The Indian Parliament was formed in the year 1947 after India gained freedom from the British.

  • It represents the faith Indians have in the principles of democracy.

  • The Parliament represents the people of India and is very powerful.

  • India is divided into 543 Lok Sabha constituencies and each constituency is represented by an elected member in the Parliament.

  • The Rajya Sabha functions primarily as the representative of the states of India in the Parliament.

  • There are 233 elected members plus 12 members nominated by the President



Lok Sabha

  • The country is divided into 543 Lok Sabha constituencies.
  • During a Lok Sabha election, people from different political parties stand for elections.

Political Parties can be classified as National and Regional parties. Let us list out the major Political Parties in India are .

National Parties

  • Bharatiya Janata Party
  • Communist Party of India
  • Communist Party of India, (Marxist)
  • Indian Congress Socialist
  • Indian National Congress
  • Janata Party
  • Lok Dal

State Parties

  • All India Anna DMK
  • Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam
  • All India Forward Block
  • Indian Congress
  • Jammu & Kashmir Conference
  • Kerala Congress
  • Muslim League
  • Peasants and Workers Party of India
  • Revolutionary Socialist Party
  • Telugu Desam Party
  • After elections one person who has the maximum number of votes, is declared elected from each constituency.
  • Once elected, these candidates become Members of Parliament or MPs.
  • These MPs together make up the Parliament.
  • Once the Parliament in formed it has three major duties
  • To select the National Government
  • To control, Guide and Inform the Government
  • Law-Making

Now let us look at each of these duties one by one.

  • After the Lok Sabha elections, a list is prepared showing how many MPs belong to each political party has won the elections.
  • The Political party which has the majority of MPs will form the government.
  • A majority Party should have at least 272 MPs, that is, more than half of the total number of MPs in the Lok Sabha.
  • When one single political party does not get the majority then a few parties with like ideals join together and form a coalition government.
  • The MPs who do not belong to the majority party are called the Opposition in Parliament.
  • The largest among the opposition Parties is called the Opposition Party.
  • The Prime Minister of India is the leader of the ruling party in the Lok Sabha.
  • Ministers are appointed by the Prime Minister from the Party MPs.
  • These ministers are given charge of different departments like health, education, finance etc.
  • One of the most important functions of the Lok Sabha is to select the executive.
  • The executive, is a group of persons who work together to implement the laws made by the Parliament.
  • This executive is what we term Government.
  • The functioning of the Parliament when it is in session is very interesting.

  • The Parliament begins with a ‘Question Hour’.

On normal business days, the Lok Sabha assembles from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and again from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. The first hour of every sitting is called the Question Hour, during which questions posed by members may be assigned to specific government ministries, to be answered at a fixed date in the future

  • During ‘Question Hour’ the MPs can ask questions about the working of the government.

  • This Question Hour helps the Parliament to control the Executive (Government).

  • The Questions asked during ‘Question Hour’ highlights the shortcomings of the Government and also bring to light the opinion of the citizen through their representatives, namely the MPs.

  • It is the duty of every MP to ask questions about the functioning of the government if he or she feels that the welfare of the citizens is at stake, as they are the representatives of the citizens.

  • The Opposition parties play a critical role in the healthy functioning of a democracy by pointing out the mistakes of the government.

  • They highlight drawbacks in various policies and programmes of the government and mobilise popular support for their own policies.


  • Law-making is an important function of the Parliament.
  • Making of laws is the primary concern of both the houses of the Parliament
  • Before a bill becomes a law, it has to be passed by both the houses of the Parliament.
  • An objection from any of the houses can stop a bill from becoming a law.
  • After both the houses pass a bill, it needs the assent of the President of India before being formulated into a law.


Rajya Sabha

  • The Rajya Sabha functions primarily as the representative of the states of India, in the Parliament.

  • The Rajya Sabha can also initiate legislation and a bill is required to pass through the Rajya Sabha in order to become a law.

  • The Rajya Sabha plays an important role of reviewing and altering the laws initiated by the Lok Sabha.

  • The members of the Rajya Sabha are elected by the elected members of the Legislative Assemblies of various states.

  • There are 233 elected members plus 12 members nominated by the President.

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