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The Constitution came into force on January 26, 1950.

India is a "Sovereign Socialist Secular Democratic" Union of States. The Constitution envisages a parliamentary form of government with federal characteristics. The President is the constitutional head, with executive power vested in a Council of Ministers under a Prime Minister. Similarly, in the States, there is a Governor and a Council of Ministers headed by a Chief Minister.

Parliament comprises the Lok Sabha (the House of the People) and the Rajya Sabha (the Council of States).

The present government is the United Progressive Alliance, a coalition led by the Indian National Congress. The Bharatiya Janata Party is the main Opposition Party.

Head of the State: President, presently Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

Head of Government : Prime Minister, presently Shri Manmohan Singh

Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha: presently Shri L.K.Advani

Chief Justice of India : presently Justice R.C. Lahoti

Chief Election Commissioner : presently Shri B.B.Tandon

Each State has a Legislative Assembly, with few States also having Legislative Councils.

There are at present 28 States and seven Union Territories. The Indian National Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party are in power in thirteen and seven States respectively either by themselves or in coalition with other parties. The Left Front is in office in two States and the rest are ruled by regional political parties such as the Telugu Desam (Andhra Pradesh) and AIADMK (Tamil Nadu).
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