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Governance in Odisha

Odisha is governed through a parliamentary system of representative democracy, a feature the state shares with other Indian states. Universal suffrage is granted to residents. There are two branches of government. The legislature, the Odisha Legislative Assembly, consists of elected members and special office bearers such as the Speaker and Deputy Speaker, that are elected by the members. Assembly meetings are presided over by the Speaker or the Deputy Speaker in the Speaker's absence. Executive authority is vested in the Council of Ministers headed by the Chief Minister, although the titular head of government is the Governor of Odisha. The Governor is the head of state appointed by the President of India. The leader of the party or coalition with a majority in the Legislative Assembly is appointed as the Chief Minister by the Governor, and the Council of Ministers are appointed by the Governor on the advice of the Chief Minister. The Council of Ministers reports to the Legislative Assembly. The Assembly is unicameral with 147 Members of the Legislative Assembly, or MLAs, including one nominated from the Anglo-Indian community. Terms of office run for 5 years, unless the Assembly is dissolved prior to the completion of the term. Auxiliary authorities known as panchayats, for which local body elections are regularly held, govern local affairs. The state contributes 21 seats to Lok Sabha and 10 seats to Rajya Sabha of the Indian Parliament.

The main players in the Politics in Odisha are the Biju Janata Dal, the Indian National Congress and Bhartiya Janata Party. Following the Odisha State Assembly Election in 2014, the Naveen Patnaik led Biju Janata Dal came to power for the third consecutive time.

The judiciary is composed of the Odisha High Court, located at Cuttack and a system of lower courts.


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