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Indian Polity

Andhra Pradesh to Scrap Legislative Council

  • 28 Jan 2020
  • 3 min read

Why in News

The Andhra Pradesh (AP) assembly has passed a resolution to abolish the state’s Legislative Council.

  • The Andhra Pradesh government has to send the resolution to the Governor for his approval and then to the Parliament for ratification.
  • The move comes after the Legislative Council referred the Capital Decentralisation Bill to a Select Committee for review.
  • Andhra Pradesh’s Legislative Council, set up in 1958, was abolished in 1985, then reconstituted in 2007.

Note: Select committees are formed for a specific purpose, for instance, to deliberate on a particular bill. Once the Bill is disposed of, that select committee ceases to exist.

Legislative Council

  • Basis For Formation
    • India has a bicameral system of legislature. Just as the Parliament has two Houses, the states can also have a Legislative Council (LC) in addition to the Legislative Assembly through Article 169 of the Constitution.
  • Abolition and Creation - Article 169
    • The Parliament can abolish a Legislative Council (where it already exists) or create it (where it does not exist) by a simple majority, if the legislative assembly of the concerned state, by a special majority, passes a resolution to that effect.

Note

  • Simple Majority implies a majority of the members of each House present and voting.
  • Special Majority implies:
    • A majority of the total membership of the assembly and
    • A majority of not less than two-thirds of the members of the assembly present and voting.
  • States having Legislative Councils
    • Besides Andhra Pradesh, the other states having Legislative Councils are Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra and Karnataka.
    • Legislative assemblies of Rajasthan, Assam and Odisha have passed resolutions for the formation of the Council.
  • Arguments in Favour of the Formation of the Council
    • A Legislative Council can help check hasty actions by the directly elected House.
    • The Legislative Council also enables non-elected individuals to contribute to the legislative process.
  • Arguments Against
    • The Legislative Council can delay legislation.
    • It can also be used to park leaders who have not been able to win an election.
    • It strains state finances.

Way Forward

  • The Parliamentary Committee that examined the Rajasthan Bill for the formation of the Legislative Council advocated for the evolution of a national policy for creation/abolition of Legislative Councils.
  • It argued that the status of Legislative Councils cannot be of temporary in nature depending on the mood of the Government of the day nor can be abolished once created, only at the whims and fancy of a newly elected Government in the State.

Source: TH

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