New Delhi: The West Bengal Legislative Assembly on Tuesday (July 6) passed a resolution to create a Legislative Council in the state.
The development brings into spotlight the debate that on what merits can a state have a Legislative Council.
Legislative Council or Vidhan Parishad is the Upper House in some states in India that have a bicameral legislature.
Such Councils are formed or abolished by the use of Article 169 of the Constitution of India.
Though the powers of the Legislative Council are limited, the Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the Council enjoy the same status of Cabinet Ministers in the state.
Currently, there are only six states in India that do have Legislative Council. They are 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.
Even though the West Bengal 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.