To provide a local self-government to the rural population the Panchayati Raj institutions were set up. The state felt the need for a separate political and administrative structure on account of the distinct customs and traditions in the country. Tribal communities in the region have their own traditional political systems. In order to provide an inexpensive form of local self governmenance to the tribal communities, the sixth shedule was appended to the Constitution under the leadership of Gopinath Bordoloi. The Sixth Schedule has provisions for the constitution and management of Autonomous District Councils (ADCs) and laid down the powers of the ADCs. There are three ADCs in Megahlaya, viz., Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council, Garo Hills Autonomous District Council and the Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Council. Meghalaya do not have a high court of its own. The Guwahati High Court has jurisdiction in Meghalaya. A Circuit Bench of the Guwahati High Court has been functioning at Shillong since 1974.
The two political parties of Meghalaya are: The Garo National Council (GNC) and Meghalaya Nationalist Congress Party (MNCP). The Garo National Council is a political party that fights for the creation of a Garo state, to be carved out of three districts of Meghalaya. The Meghalaya Nationalist Congress Party is a political party that was formed by Cyprian Sangma on December 15 when six out of 14 Nationalist Congress Party legislators broke away. Four of the six were immediately given cabinet berths in the D.D. Lapang government. Later MNCP merged with the Indian National Congress.