Kolkata: The West Bengal Legislative Assembly on Tuesday (July 6) passed a resolution to create a Legislative Council in the state under Article 169 of the Constitution of India.
Out of a total of 265 members present in the Assembly, 196 MLAs voted in favour of the resolution, while 69 voted against it.
The formation of a Legislative Council was one of the poll promises that featured in the TMC manifesto. Soon after the assembly elections, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had approved the proposal.
Banerjee was not present in the House during the voting to pass the resolution.
BJP’s Suvendu Adhikari opposed the resolution saying it would not be suitable financially and that the move was a ploy to accommodate TMC leaders in the Council.
“Vidhan Parishad is not there in 23 states. This is not good for smart governance. TMC has lost 7-8 ministers including Chief Minister. They are trying for back door entry through Vidhan Parishad,” Adhikari said.
“BJP has a majority in the parliament. Our stand is to oppose this resolution,” he added.
Even though the Assembly has passed the resolution, in order to set up the Council, a Bill to that effect will have to be passed in the parliament. The role of the BJP-ruled Centre would become crucial in this regard.
Only six states in India have a Legislative Council – Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka.
Jammu and Kashmir also had the Upper House until the state was bifurcated into two Union Territories in 2019.
Notably, West Bengal used to have an Upper House which came into existence in 1952. It was, however, abolished in 1969. The state Assembly passed the resolution for its abolition on 21 March 1969.
Earlier today, Banerjee took a jibe at the BJP saying that if the Election Commission (EC) had not helped, the BJP would not have won even 30 seats.
She further said, “I have never seen a shameless PM like Narendra Modi.”
Taking another jibe at BJP, she spoke about some of the major issues in the nation and said “Petrol/diesel prices are increasing. It has crossed Rs.100. UP govt is disposing dead bodies in Ganga river. Those bodies are floating and coming to West Bengal. The water has been contaminated.”