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Andhra Pradesh govt passes resolution to abolish Legislative Council

The draft Bill to abolish the Council under Article 169 of the Constitution was approved by the Cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy.

By: Express News Service | Hyderabad |
Updated: January 28, 2020 2:10:18 am
Jagan Mohan Reddy, Jagan Mohan Reddy AP Legislative Council, andhra pradesh Legislative Council, andhra pradesh three capitals, Indian express Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy. (File)

The YSR Congress Party-led Andhra Pradesh government passed a resolution in the Assembly on Monday to abolish the Legislative Council, where Opposition Telugu Desam Party has a majority.

The draft Bill to abolish the Council under Article 169 of the Constitution was approved by the Cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy.

Telugu Desam Party’s (TDP) 23 members boycotted the session registering their protest.

The government’s decision comes after the TDP blocked two Bills in the Upper House last week — the AP Decentralisation and Inclusive Development of All Regions Bill, 2020 to establish three state capitals and the AP Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA) Act (Repeal) Bill. Council Chairman Mohammed Ahmed Sharif had referred the Bills to a select committee for review, which means the government cannot implement it for at least three months.

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Terming the decision illegal and unconstitutional, the chief minister had said it was time to discuss whether the Council should be abolished altogether. The government said due to the Council’s decision, two other crucial Bills — one to set up separate commissions for SCs and STs, and the other to introduce teaching in English medium in government schools — have been delayed.

In Monday’s Cabinet meeting, the draft proposal was discussed and approved by all members, after which it was introduced in the Assembly, where YSR Congress has the absolute majority.

Finance and Legislative Affairs Minister B Rajendranath said, “People have given us a big mandate and power to take decisions in the interest of the state. However, TDP is using its political clout in the Legislative Council to stall important Bills. They illegally blocked the ‘three-capitals’ Bill. TDP is not allowing us to carry our work, so we have proposed to abolish the Council. We will send the resolution to the Centre…’’

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TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu said the YSR Congress had enacted a drama. “It was all a well-planned drama to somehow abolish the Council where we have majority. What wrong has the TDP done in the Council? We referred the ‘three-capitals’ Bill to a select committee. There should be a debate on it,” he said.

Explained

TDP abolished Upper House in united AP

The Legislative Council was formed in united Andhra Pradesh on July 1, 1958. It was first abolished on May 31, 1985 — by the then TDP government of N T Rama Rao after the opposition Congress blocked many decisions. It was restored on March 30, 2007 by the government led by late Dr Y S Rajasekhara Reddy, Jagan’s father. The Council will function until Parliament approves the resolution. The proposal will go to the Union Law Ministry, which has to prepare a Bill and present it in Parliament, which officials said may take three to six months.

With the resignation of TDP’s D Manikya Varaprasad last week, the TDP is left with 28 members in the 58-member Upper House. The YSRCP has nine members.

Two ministers in the Cabinet, Deputy CM Pilli Subhash Chandra Bose and Mopidevi Venkata Ramana, are members in the Legislative Council.

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Taking a dig at the CM pointing out that nearly Rs 60 crore per year is spent on the Council, Naidu said, “The CM said the Council was a waste of time and funds because it does not serve any purpose. I ask the CM — as an accused in a case he has to go to the High Court in Hyderabad every week, for which the state government is spending Rs 60 lakh to arrange security and vehicles. It costs over Rs 30 crore every year to provide security…”

Meanwhile, the YSR Congress faced some embarrassment as 18 of their MLAs, excluding the Speaker, were missing from the House during the voting.

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First published on: 28-01-2020 at 02:07:23 am
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