Legislative assembly

Bengal Assembly disqualifies Vidhan Parishad after 52 years

The Bengal Assembly on Tuesday sanctioned the resurrection, after 52 years, of the State Legislative Council or Vidhan Parishad with a vote of 196: 69 (nearly three quarters of the 265 members present), in accordance with the minister’s commitment Chief Mamata Banerjee before the ballot. .

The Vidhan Parishad of Bengal was formed in June 1952, with 51 members, but was abolished in March 1969.

Mamata has been in favor of the renewal of Parishad since coming to power in 2011. Ahead of the 2021 Assembly polls, the leader of Trinamul said her government would bring back the Upper House if it won a third term. After the overwhelming mandate in his favor, the state cabinet gave the green light to the process in May.

However, reviving the bicameral legislature in Bengal is a fairly long way to go.

The motion will now be sent to Delhi, after Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar’s approval. There it would be reviewed by the Union Law Ministry, under the leadership of Ravi Shankhar Prasad, and sent for consideration and adoption by both Houses of Parliament. If he took these steps, he would need the signature of President Ram Nath Kovind.

The BJP’s Bengal unit made it clear that the party was opposed to the return of Parishad to Bengal and that the proposal would be rejected by the BJP’s gross majority in Lok Sabha.

Trinamul argued that this is a constitutional provision (Article 169 of the Constitution), and about the six states in the country that still have such a council, namely Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, three are governed by the BJP or the NDA.

“They are not opposed to the existence of the upper house in Karnataka, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, but here they are talking about burden on the chessboard and so on,” the parliamentary affairs minister later said. Partha Chatterjee, referring to claims by opposition leader Suvendu Adhikari that the resurrection of Parishad would mean an additional burden of Rs 600-800 crore over five years.

“How do they know that? It has not yet been decided whether the Parishad will be a 40-seat House (stipulated minimum) or 98-seat (stipulated maximum of one-third of the 294 Assembly seats), ”Chatterjee said. “We found that his (Adhikari) bragged about the Lok Sabha majority in his party and how it (the motion) would be removed in bad taste.” He added that the BJP was trying to demolish the “very federal form of the Constitution”.

To become a member of Parishad, an Indian citizen must be at least 30 years of age, be of sound mind, not insolvent, and registered as a state voter. Someone who is a deputy or deputy cannot simultaneously be a member of Parishad. Members of the legislative council – the MLCs – hold seats for six years, with a third of the Parishad’s total membership retiring every two years.

Adhikari, a renegade from Trinamul, insisted that the state government was doing it to ensure “back door” to the legislature for those who lost the assembly elections, including Mamata, and his ” loyalists ”in civil society.

Chatterjee denied it, accusing Adhikari of “losing his mind, under enormous pressure,” adding that Mamata would challenge the Bhowanipore Assembly polls. Bypolls remain pending for Khardah, Gosaba, Samserganj, Jangipur, Dinhata and Santipur, in addition to Bhowanipore.

Sources in the Treasury Banks said the ruling party would like to reward some veterans who have been denied Assembly tickets this time with Parishad memberships, but there were no plans to bring in only ” loyalists ”from civil society. “She (Mamata) is also planning to bring in several respected leaders from the left and Congress, who have been reduced to zero seats for the first time since independence,” said a leader from Trinamul.

CPM and Congress have so far opposed. The only member of Sanyukta Morcha (an alliance of the left, Congress and ISF) in the Assembly, ISF leader Nawsad Siddique, opposed it on Tuesday.

A Trinamul vice president said it was becoming increasingly clear that the BJP had chosen disruptive practices as its primary strategy. “Earlier today, Suvendu Adhikari and his team created a ruckus in the House as the President (Biman Banerjee) urged him not to continue to refer to Nandigram’s election result as he is currently in instance. They organized a walkout and accused the president of being partisan, ”he said.

During the discussion of the governor’s speech, a belligerent Mamata raised questions about the neutrality of the Election Commission of India on the House floor and claimed that without the commission’s alleged assistance to the BJP, it would not even have obtained 30 seats in the election. “Without the support of the Electoral Commission, the BJP would not have even won 30 seats…. Everything that (Narendra) Modi and (Amit) Shah wanted was done by them (the commission), ”the chief minister said.

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