Andhra Pradesh cabinet approves abolition of legislative council

On Monday, the Andhra Pradesh cabinet approved the decision to abolish the legislative council, YSRCP MLA Gudivada Amaranth told news agency ANI.

Using his discretionary power under Rule 154, the Council Chairman M A Sharrif had referred the AP Decentralisation and Inclusive Development of All Regions Bill, 2020 and the APCRDA (Repeal) Bill to a select committee for deeper examination.

"We need to seriously think whether we need to have such a House which appears to be functioning with only political motives. It is not mandatory to have the Council, which is our own creation, and it is only for our convenience. So let us discuss the issue further on Monday and take a decision on whether or not to continue the Council," Chief Minister Jaganmohan Reddy had told the Assembly on Thursday evening.

In the meanwhile, TDP has hit out at the YSRCP government for abolishing the legislative council. TDP MP Kanakamedala Ravindra Kumar told ANI, "The hidden agenda of Andhra Pradesh govt might be to take a decision whether to pass resolution in order to dissolve AP legislative council as it did not accept passage of bills relating to CRDA and de-centralisation of state's capital."

"Andhra Pradesh government is expected to follow values of Constitution, unfortunately it has taken an abnormal decision. Legislative Council may be dissolved on other reasons but not on the reason the it sent the bills to a select committee," Kumar further added.

As the Legislature was adjourned sine die on December 17, no further action was taken. But the issue cropped up again last week as the TDP, that has 28 members in the Council, remained firm on its stand on opposing the three capitals plan. Despite YSRC attracting two TDP members to its side, the government failed to get the three capitals Bills passed in the Council, triggering a debate in the Assembly on whether or not the Upper House should be allowed to remain in existence.

The YSRC will gain a majority in the Council only in 2021 when a number of opposition members will retire at the end of their six-year term. The YSRC, which has just nine members in the 58-member Council, is miffed after it failed to get two crucial Bills related to its plan of having three capitals for the state passed.

(Inputs from Agencies)

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