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Governments & Politics

Like all states in India, the head of state is the governor, appointed by the Central government. His or her post is largely ceremonial. The Chief Ministers of Maharashtra is the head of government and is vested with most of the executive powers. Maharashtra's capital is Mumbai, home to the Vidhan Sabha the state assembly and Mantralaya, the administrative offices of the government. It is also home to the Bombay High Court which has jurisdiction over Maharashtra, Goa, and the Union Territory of Daman and Diu. The legislature convenes its budget and monsoon sessions in Mumbai, and the winter session in Nagpur, which was designated as the state's auxiliary capital.

Maharashtra's legislature is bicameral, one of the few states in India to have a bicameral type. The Vidhan Sabha (Legislative Assembly) is the lower house consisting of directly elected members. The Vidhan Parishad (Legislative Council) is the upper house, whose members are indirectly voted through an electoral college. Maharashtra is allocated nineteen seats in the Rajya Sabha and forty-eight in the Lok Sabha, India's national parliament.

After India's independence, most of Maharashtra's political history was dominated by the Congress party. Maharashtra became a bastion of the Congress party producing stalwarts such as Y.B. Chavan, one of its most prominent Chief Ministers. The party enjoyed near unchallenged dominance of the political landscape until 1995 when the right wing Shiv Sena and BJP secured an overwhelming majority in the state to form a coalition. After a split in the Congress party, former chief minister Sharad Pawar formed the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), but formed a coalition with the Congress to keep out the BJP-SS combine. The 2004 elections saw the NCP gaining the largest number of seats to become the state's largest party, eroding much of the Shiv Sena's base. Under a pre-poll power sharing agreement, the Chief Minister would be from the Congress while the deputy Chief Minister would be from the NCP. Vilasrao Deshmukh is current CM and R. R. Patil (NCP) is DCM.

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