There is no uniformity in the organisation of state legislatures. Most of the states have an unicameral system, while others have a bicameral system. At present (2016), only seven states have two Houses (bicameral). These are Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Jammu and Kashmir. The Tamil Nadu Legislative Council Act, 2010 has not come into force. The Legislative Council in Andhra Pradesh was revived by the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council Act, 2005. The 7th Amendment Act of 1956 provided for a Legislative Council in Madhya Pradesh. However, a notification to this effect has to be made by the President. So far, no such notification has been made. Hence, Madhya Pradesh continues to have one House only.
The twenty-two states have unicameral system. Here, the state legislature consists of the governor and the legislative assembly. In the states having bicameral system, the state legislature consists of the governor, the legislative council and the legislative assembly. The legislative council (Vidhan Parishad) is the upper house (second chamber or house of elders), while the legislative assembly (Vidhan Sabha) is the lower house (first chamber or popular house).
The Constitution provides for the abolition or creation of legislative councils in states. Accordingly, the Parliament can abolish a legislative council (where it already exists) or create it (where it does not exist), if the legislative assembly of the concerned state passes a resolution to that effect. Such a specific resolution must be passed by the state assembly by a special majority, that is, a majority of the total membership of the assembly and a majority of not less than two-thirds of the members of the assembly present and voting. This Act of Parliament is not to be deemed as an amendment of the Constitution for the purposes of Article 368 and is passed like an ordinary piece of legislation (ie, by simple majority).
“The idea of having a second chamber in the states was criticised in the Constituent Assembly on the ground that it was not representative of the people, that it delayed legislative process and that it was an expensive institution.” Consequently the provision was made for the abolition or creation of a legislative council to enable a state to have a second chamber or not according to its own willingness and financial strength. For example, Andhra Pradesh got the legislative council created in 1957 and got the same abolished in 1985. The Legislative Council in Andhra Pradesh was again revived in 2007, after the enactment of the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council Act, 2005. The legislative council of Tamil Nadu had been abolished in 1986 and that of Punjab and West Bengal in 1969.
In 2010, the Legislative Assembly of Tamil Nadu passed a resolution for the revival of the Legislative Council in the state. Accordingly, the Parliament enacted the Tamil Nadu Legislative Council Act, 2010 which provided for the creation of Legislative Council in the state. However, before this Act was enforced, the Legislative Assembly of Tamil Nadu passed another resolution in 2011 seeking the abolition of the proposed Legislative Council.