Executive Authority is vested in the Council of Ministers headed by the Chief Ministers of West Bengal, although the titular head of government is the Governor of West Bengal. 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 Governor on the advice of the Chief Minister appoints the Chief Minister by the Governor, and the Council of Ministers. The Council of Ministers reports to the Legislative Assembly.
The Assembly is unicameral with 295 Member 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 42 seats to Lok Sabha and 16 seats to Rajya Sabha of the Indian Parliament. The main players in the Politics in West Bengal are the political alliance led by the CPI (M) known as the Left Front, the All India Trinamool Congress, the Indian National Congress, and other major parties. Following the West Bengal Assembly election in 2006, the Left Front coalition under Buddhadeb Bhattacharya of the CPI (M) was elected to power. The Left Front for the past 30 years, making it the world's longest running Democratically elected communist government, has ruled West Bengal.
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