Accusing Maharashtra government of “disrespecting” the Legislative Council by not informing it about the passage of Cooperation Bill in Legislative Assembly, the Congress and NCP on Friday stalled the proceedings of Upper House. In his reply, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis admitted that it was “administrative mistake” on part of government to not inform Upper House about the passage of the said bill in Legislative Assembly on Friday.
He said the government did not list the bill in the business agenda of the Council on Friday. Creating an uproar, the Congress and NCP demanded that the bill should have been sent to the Joint Select Committee within six months instead of allowing its passage in Lower House, where BJP and its alliance partner Shiv Sena enjoy majority. Quoting provisions of Article 197(2) of the Constitution, Fadnavis said, “Once a bill is passed in Lower House, it is transferred to Upper House for passage. The Assembly may or may not accept the amendments proposed by the Council.”
Tendering an apology, he said, “the government had no intention of showing any disrespect to the Legislative Council. Also, there was no constitutional deadlock (on the issue).”
Conceding “administrative mistake”, Fadnavis said the government will add a corrigendum to today’s agenda and list the bill for passage. Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Council, Dhananjay Munde said, “By passing the bill in Lower House, where the government referred it to Joint Selection Committee unlike in Council, the government has shown disrespect to Upper House.”
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Girish Bapat apologised for the failure to constitute the Joint Select Committee.
“Yesterday the bill was passed in the Lower House very late in the day. It was a technical mistake on the part of the government of not listing the bill on the agenda,” Bapat said.