Hyderabad: The Assembly of India’s Andhra Pradesh on Monday unanimously passed a resolution to abolish the state Legislative Council.
The move signals progress in a push by the Jaganmohan Reddy-led government to do away with the upper house of the state legislature, which it considers a roadblock to passing vital legislation.
Speaker T. Seetharam announced that the statutory resolution had been adopted with 133 members voting in favour of it.
There were no votes against it or abstentions.
Participating in the debate, minister Aalla Nani said that it was the aspiration of the people to have three capitals in the state to expedite the development and progress of all the regions, “But the [opposition[ Telugu Desam party is creating obstacles in its path”.
Another YSR Congress member Dharmana Prasad pointed out that there were 101 countries in the world which had unicameral legislatures and very few countries had two houses.
Senior Telugu Desam Party leader, Y. Ramakrishnudu, said the government was resorting to undemocratic actions only because it did not have the majority in the Council.
“Scrapping the Council is not so easy and it will take two to three years to complete the process”, he said.
The Jagan government took the step of getting the House of Elders of the state legislature scrapped after it came in the way of the approval of the controversial bill trifurcating the state capital last week.
In the Council, where the opposition TDP enjoys the majority, chairman Mohammed Shareef had decided hand over the bill to the select committee for detailed discussion.
The process would take three months and the bill would have come back before the Council in month of April.
This infuriated the ruling party which wanted to implement the decentralisation of the state capital at the earliest.
While the previous Telugu Desam government had started developing a new city of Amaravati as the new capital, the Jagan government envisaged a new plan of dividing the various functions of capital to three different cities of Amaravati, Visakhapatanam and Kurnool.
The first Telugu Desam government in undivided Andhra Pradesh headed by N.T. Rama Rao got the Legislative Council scrapped in 1985, as it was then controlled by the Congress party.
It was after a gap of 22 that the Council was restored by India’s central authorities, on the recommendation of the Congress government.
Ironically the Council was revived by then Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy, father of Jaganmohan Reddy.