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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