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Roles of Councillors, MLAs and MPs in India

Posted by Admin on January 7, 2015 | Comment

The citizens of India have their representatives at all three levels of governance – local, state and national. Be it councillors, MLAs or MPs, these directly elected representatives are obliged to work towards the development of people in every nook and corner of the country. Their roles and responsibilities are diverse, to say the least.

Roles of Councillors, MLAs and MPs in India

Role of a Councillor

The municipal councillors are considered the representatives of people at grassroots level. The very purpose of their existence is to work towards the welfare and interests of the municipality they are representing. It is fair to assume that a councillor is responsible for taking care of civic issues such as roads, infrastructure, town planning, waste management, etc. The councillors are vested with functions pertaining to education, public health, welfare, public safety and developmental work.

Besides performing traditional functions, the councillors are expected to drive development programmes and promote cultural and aesthetic aspects. It is important that every councillor participates in developing and evaluating the programs of a municipality.

Role of an MLA

With power comes responsibility, and that is true for the MLAs or the Members of Legislative Assembly. When it comes to legislative powers, each MLA has a role to play in formulating laws. According to the Article 246 of the Indian Constitution, MLAs have the power to frame laws pertaining to internal security, agriculture, public health and other sections enlisted in the state list and concurrent list.

As an integral part of the decision-making process, the MLAs scrutinise the budget presented by the government before approving it. It is their responsibility to ensure that the fund is appropriately allocated for the governance of the state. Another crucial role that the MLAs are expected to perform is to monitor all the programmes and schemes implemented by the government and ensure that the executive body is transparent and impartial while performing its duties.

Since the state legislature plays an important role in electing the President of India, the MLAs and the MPs are roped in for this electoral process. The MLAs also take part in the process of amending the Constitution as their consent is needed for the Parliament to amend certain parts of the supreme legal framework.

Role of an MP

At the parliamentary level, every MP is expected to work on behalf of the constituency he is representing. As a custodian of people’s rights and benefits, an MP has every right to question and debate over new legislation proposed by the government in power. Whenever a bill is brought to the table for discussion, the MPs make sure that there is no conflict of interest between his constituency and the proposed central law.

The Members of Parliament can also form Parliamentary Committees – both standing and ad hoc. Be it the committee on finance or defence, the members are given the task of examining bills referred to them and scrutinising the working of the various schemes initiated by the government. Once these committees come up with detailed recommendations, the responsibility shifts to other sitting MPs in each house of the Parliament to examine the recommendations and propose suitable amendments.

No Defined Responsibilities of MPs and MLAs

There is no denying the fact that the duties and responsibilities of MPs and MLAs are not defined in the Constitution. According to the Lok Sabha secretariat, there is no such provision even in the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha that defines duties and responsibilities of members of Parliament or through which the accountability can be fixed on non-performing MPs. Even the state Assemblies admit that there is no rule through which the non-performing MLAs can be pulled up.