Kolkata: In the West Bengal Legislative Assembly, a proposal to form a State Legislative Council was introduced, which has been approved by the Assembly. Trinamool Congress Parliamentary Minister Partha Chatterjee proposed the formation of the Legislative Council. Although CM Mamata Banerjee was not present in the House during the debate on the resolution, the resolution was passed by 196 votes against 69. The BJP opposed the government’s proposal to form a Legislative Council and created a hue and cry over the absence of the CM.
On this, Leader of Opposition Shubhendu Adhikari said, ‘It is a wrong step to make the Legislative Council now after the assembly. From the financial point of view also, it is not good. It is not there in 23 states of the country. This is not good for smart governance. TMC wants to bring its very own leader here. Mamta Banerjee herself was defeated by 1956 votes, she herself wants to come to the assembly through the back door. This has to be done to save our chief minister’s chair. Mamta knows that it will not be passed in Parliament. That’s why she herself was not present. BJP is a national party and we are talking the same thing everywhere and we are protesting.
On May 18, barely 12 days after she was sworn in as the Chief Minister of West Bengal for the third time, Mamata Banerjee had approved the cabinet’s decision to form a Legislative Council. Which he had promised during the election. Banerjee announced that eminent people and veteran leaders who were not nominated for the assembly elections would be made members of the Legislative Council.
The CM has vowed to give seats to those who are part of his campaign in Nandigram and Singur after the 2011 assembly elections. State Transport Minister Firhad Hakim rubbished the allegations against TMC and said that Mamta Banerjee will win and win with a lot of votes. If you have the guts, get the election done and see after losing.
On the other hand, BJP MP Soumitra Khan, while targeting CM Mamta, has called the move of Mamta Banerjee’s Legislative Council as a ‘gimmick’. He has said that the High Court had rejected Mamta’s proposal of the Secretary’s Council in 2011. This is nothing but the admission of anyone nominated for Mamata Banerjee. This is just a gimmick in West Bengal and of no use.
Please tell that only 6 states in India have a Legislative Council. These include Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka. There are 294 assembly seats in West Bengal. Since the strength of a Legislative Council cannot exceed one-third of that of the Vidhan Sabha or Vidhan Sabha, the Legislative Council in Bengal can have 98 members.
President’s consent is required
After independence, Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy, the first Chief Minister of Bengal, constituted the Legislative Council in 1952 and this continued till 1969 when the second United Front government abolished the Upper House by passing a bill. A Legislative Council can be formed if Article 169 of the Indian Constitution is followed with necessary constitutional amendments. The bill needs to be presented before the Parliament for the creation of the Legislative Council and it requires the assent of the President.
At the same time, the Legislative Council should not have more than 1/3 of the total seats in the Legislative Assembly. In such a situation, the council can have a maximum of 98 seats in Bengal. 1/3 of the members will be elected by the legislators, while the other 1/3 members will be elected by the municipal bodies, zilla parishads and other local bodies. There will also be a provision to nominate members to the council by the government. Like in the Rajya Sabha, there will be a Chairman and a Deputy Speaker. Members must be at least 30 years old and have a tenure of 6 years.
The members of the Legislative Council are elected by the members of the civic body and elected legislators. The Governor can also nominate some members. The last Legislative Council of Bengal had 75 members, of whom nine were nominated by the Governor. The Bharatiya Janata Party, which has only 75 MLAs in the Bengal Assembly against TMC’s 213, did not react to the development. The Left, which did not win a single seat like the Congress, opposed the idea.
Also read: State Legislative Council resolution passed in West Bengal Assembly, 196 votes in favor. Know how many votes were given in opposition