Andhra govt takes U-turn on abolishing Legislative Council
Amaravati, Nov 23: Nearly two years after deciding to abolish Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council, the YSR Congress Party government took a U-turn with the state Legislative Assembly on Tuesday unanimously adopting a resolution.
Through this resolution, the state Assembly withdrew the earlier resolution seeking the abolishing of the Legislative Council, the upper house of the state legislature.
Moving the resolution, Minister for Legislative Affairs, Buggana Rajendranath recalled that the Assembly had adopted a resolution on January 27, 2020 urging the Centre to abolish the Council.
It was sent to Union Home Ministry for consideration and with response not coming and ambiguity and dilemma on the functioning of the House continuing, the government has decided to withdraw the earlier resolution, he said.
The minister said the decision for the abolition of the Council was taken to remove intentional and avoidable delays in the passing of Bills. However, despite constant persuasion of the matter at various levels and elapse of a considerable period of time of one year and 10 months, there was no action from the Centre, he said.
In the meantime, the Council has been functioning and discharging its bounden duties.
However, there was uncertainty among the members over the inordinate delay as the matter was kept pending with the Union Home Ministry and there being no time-frame for the process to be completed, it was considered necessary to put an end to the prevailing uncertainty and ambiguity.
He told the House this was affecting the dignity and decorum associated with the Council and its members.
Interestingly, this comes a day after the Jagan Mohan Reddy-led government withdrew two legislations to develop three state capitals and announced its decision to come out with a comprehensive legislation addressing concerns of all.
The decision to abolish the Council was taken after the government could not pass the Bills for trifurcation of state capital as the opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in the upper house.
The passing of resolution last year had set in motion the process to do away with the bicameral system of legislature.
The resolution was passed in the absence of TDP, which stayed away from day-long special sitting to protest against the "undemocratic" move by the YSRCP government.
The resolution was sent to the Union Home Ministry for drafting a Bill and tabling it in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.
Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy had then told the Assembly that the step was taken to protect the democracy as the Council was being misused by the opposition to create obstacles for the Bills passed by the Assembly which is directly elected by the people.
Reddy had said his government was proud to abolish the Council as it was being misused for political interests and was proving a burden on the state exchequer.
Jagan Mohan Reddy had said that his party can get a majority in the Council next year but public interest is paramount for them.
The YSRCP, which then had just nine members in the 58-member Council, has now gained an upper hand.
Interestingly, it was Jagan Mohan Reddy's father Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy as the chief minister of then undivided Andhra Pradesh who had got the Council revived in 2007. This was 22 years after the upper house was abolished during the TDP regime of N.T. Rama Rao in 1985.