As a matter of convention, Chief Ministers are members of the Legislative Assembly. In Tamil Nadu, which had a bi-cameral legislature till 1986, there were two Chief Ministers who were members of the Legislative Council.

After the first general elections of 1952, C. Rajagopalachari (1878-1972) or Rajaji, as he was popularly called, became Chief Minister, after being sworn in as a nominated member of the Council. He headed the Congress Ministry till April 1954.

Thirteen years later, when the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam captured power, dislodging the Congress, its founder, C.N. Annadurai, who was elected from the South Madras parliamentary constituency in the 1967 polls, had to become a member of the Legislative Council as he had been appointed Chief Minister.

DMK president M. Karunanidhi and All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam founder M.G. Ramachandran were also members of the Council even though they, as Chief Ministers, preferred to go the legislature only through the Assembly. Mr Karunanidhi was MLC during 1984-1986 and Ramachandran in the early 1960s.

After the Council was formally abolished in November 1986, there were some attempts to revive it but all ended in failure.