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Centre still looking into AP legislative council abolition?

Centre still looking into AP legislative council abolition?

The abolition of Andhra Pradesh state legislative council is not a closed chapter notwithstanding the fact that the ruling YSR Congress party has obtained majority in the upper house and is going to get more strength in the coming days.

The NDA government on Thursday told Rajya Sabha that the Centre was still examining the proposal to abolish the AP state legislative council as per the recommendation of the state assembly.

“The abolition of the AP legislative council is under consideration. The Centre will take a decision on it at the earliest,” Union minister for law and justice Kiran Rijiju said, in reply to a question raised by Telugu Desam Party member Kanakamedala Ravindra Kumar in Rajya Sabha on Thursday.

It may be recalled that the Jagan Mohan Reddy government had adopted a resolution in the state assembly in January 2020, recommending the abolition of the state legislative council on the ground that it had become a burden on the state exchequer and a stumbling block in the key policy decisions of the government.

The resolution was forwarded to the Centre, which has the powers to decide on the council abolition. However, no action has been taken on the same for the last one and a half years, though the Jagan government represented the issue to the Centre a couple of times.

In the meantime, the YSRC government has been filling up the vacancies in the council arising from time to time with its party leaders.

A couple of months ago, the YSRC gained complete majority in the council and there is no need for the party to ask for legislative council abolition.

In fact, government advisor (public affairs) Sajjala Ramakrishna Reddy said it was for the Centre to take the decision on legislative council but the state government would not insist on the same.

At a time when everybody is of the view that the Centre has conveniently pushed the proposal for council abolition under the carpet, the Union minister’s statement in the Rajya Sabha came as a surprise. 

There could be a reason for the Centre’s statement. The West Bengal government has proposed revival of the state legislative council to enable chief minister Mamata Banerjee to get elected as an MLC and continue in the post. 

This NDA government might reject the proposal of Mamata. In the same breath, it might take a call on Andhra Pradesh government’s proposal, too.

If Jagan wants the legislative council to continue, he will have to make a fresh request to the Centre to drop the earlier resolution.

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