India's present constitution went into effect on Jan. 26, 1950. At that time, the nation changed its status from a dominion to a federal republic, though it remained within the Commonwealth. A president, chosen by an Electoral College replaced the governor-general, appointed by the British Crown. The president is the official chief of state, but the office is largely ceremonial.
In parliamentary government, the people in a country elect members of at least one house of the legislature (by any variety of means: proportional representation as in Israel, single member districts as in Britain). The party or coalition of parties (coalition means a group working together) whose members together form a majority (more than one-half) of the legislature form the government. This means that they select the Prime Minister (the leader of the government) as well as members of the Cabinet (the PM and the Cabinet are known collectively as the government; the parties not in power form the loyal opposition). A key aspect of the parliamentary system is that the executive (the Prime Minister and the Cabinet) is elected by the legislature. This contrasts with our own system with its separation of powers. In the US, the president (leader of the executive branch) and Congress (the legislature) are elected separately by the people.
The Lower House of the legislature is called the Lok Sabha. Currently, up to a week or two ago, the Congress Party held a majority of seats in the Lok Sabha, so its leader was the Prime Minister of India. The other house of the legislature is the Rajya Sabha and like the English House of Lords it has less power than the Lower House. The other parties in the Lok Sabha form the oppositi...
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...Former MP Turns Approver in Bribery Case Against Roa" India Abroad 3/28/97
(Many other articles from India Abroad)
"India" Compton's Living Encyclopedia. Compton's Learning Company, 1996. Online. America Online. (7
"M. K. Ghandi" Compton's Living Encyclopedia. Compton's Learning Company, 1996. Online. America
Online. (7 June 1996).
"Indian National Congress" Compton's Living Encyclopedia. Compton's Learning Company, 1996. Online.
America Online. (7 June 1996).
"Nehru Ghandi" Compton's Living Encyclopedia. Compton's Learning Company, 1996. Online. America
Online. (7 June 1996).
"India" Concise Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia Copyright 1994, Columbia University Press.
"East India Company, India" Concise Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia Copyright 1994, Columbia University Press.
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