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Jagan Govt Tables Bill to Dissolve Legislative Council Days After Snub to 3-Capital Plan in Upper House

By: Medabayani Balakrishna

News18.com

Last Updated: January 27, 2020, 12:33 IST

File photo of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy.

File photo of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy.

The move comes days after the Jaganmohan Reddy government suffered a setback in the Upper House which referred the three-capital cities bill and CRDA repeal bill to the select committee.

Amaravati: Andhra Pradesh cabinet chaired by chief minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy on Monday tabled the draft bill to abolish the Legislative Council. The decision was taken during a cabinet meeting.

The move comes days after the state government suffered a setback in the Upper House which referred the three-capital cities bill and CRDA repeal bill to the select committee.

On Thursday, Reddy had questioned the need for an Upper House “which appears to be functioning with only political motives”.

"It is not mandatory to have the Council, which is our own creation, and it is only for our convenience. So let us discuss the issue further on Monday and take a decision on whether or not to continue the Council," the chief minister had told the Assembly.

The resolution to abolish the council will be cleared after a day-long discussion in the Assembly later in the day. Once passed, the resolution will be sent it to the governor for his approval who will send it to the Parliament for ratification.

While the Jagan government holds a brute majority of 151 MLAs in the 175-member Assembly, Chandrababu Naidu-led opposition party, Telugu Desam Party (TDP), has a majority in the Legislative Council with 27 members in the 58-member chamber.

The TDP has been stalling bills passed by the assembly, including the two decentralisation bills -- Andhra Pradesh Decentralisation and Inclusive Development of All Regions Bill, 2020, and the Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA) Act (Repeal) Bill -- that were introduced in the council for discussion on January 22, after the assembly had passed it on January 20.

Legislative Council Chairman M A Sharrif had on January 22 referred to a select committee the two bills for deeper examination. The chairman had said that he was using his discretionary powers under Rule 154 while referring the Bills to the select panel in line with the demand of the TDP.

Following this, the chief minister had told the Assembly, "We need to seriously think whether we need to have such a House which appears to be functioning with only political motives. It is not mandatory to have the Council, which is our own creation, and it is only for our convenience."
"So let us discuss the issue further on Monday and take a decision on whether or not to continue the Council," he had said.

In fact, the YSRC had on December 17 first threatened to abolish the Council when it became clear that the TDP was bent on blocking two Bills related to creation of a separate Commission for SCs and conversion of all government schools into English medium.

As the Legislature was adjourned sine dine on December 17, no further action was taken. But last week, the issue cropped up again as the TDP remained firm on its stand on opposing the three-capitals plan.

Accusing TDP of "misusing its majority in the Legislative Council”, Reddy had said the party is politicising the two Bills.

Reddy is not the first to abolish the Legislative Council. In 1985, TDP founder and former Chief Minister NT Rama Rao had abolished the Council on grounds that it caused a drain on the state exchequer. Jagan's father and former CM YS Rajasekhar Reddy had revived the Council in 2007 after a gap of 22 years.
first published:January 27, 2020, 11:41 IST
last updated:January 27, 2020, 12:33 IST