Will Odisha’s move for Legislative Council get Parliamentary nod?

Bhubaneswar, September 6, 2018: Will the move by the Odisha Government for creation of a Legislative Council or Vidhan Parishad in the State get Parliamentary nod? The question assumed significance as two such proposals of two States are still pending Parliament
for approval since 2012.
In 2012 the Rajasthan Assembly passed resolution for formation of a Vidhan Parishad and sent it for Parliamentary nod when Ashok Gehlot was the Chief Minister. In 2013, the Assam Assembly passed resolutions for constituting Legislative Councils and sent the same to the Centre for further course of action. But Parliamentary approval is still pending in the two cases.
Meanwhile, the Odisha Government on Thursday moved the resolution in the Assembly for creation of a Legislative Council in the State.
Of course the BJD, with 118 of 147 MLAs, will easily pass the Bill for a Council, but the State will need the support of the BJP at the
Centre when Parliament votes on the proposal.
It is pertinent to mention that the Odisha BJP has opposed the timing of the move of the Naveen Patnaik Government for a Council, while
the Congress has objected to the idea itself. Further, Patnaik’s Biju Janata Dal (BJD) is very critical of the Narendra Modi Government and under such circumstances all eyes are on the Centre.
The BJP in Odisha under the leadership of Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has intensified its attack on the State Government on several issues. The saffron party is alleging that the plan for creation of a Vidhan Parishad is a well planned measure of Chief Minister and
BJD president Naveen Patnaik to fight the anti-incumbency in the forthcoming general elections scheduled in 2019 and to park leaders who can be a threat to the BJD leadership during the election.
Under such circumstances all eyes are on the BJP-led Central Government whether it approves Naveen Patnaik’s proposal or it sees the same fate as of Rajasthan and Assam.
On August 24, the proposal for the Vidhan Parishad in the State received Odisha Cabinet nod.
The proposed Vidhan Parishad will have 49 members (one-third size of the Assembly); while it will have an additional financial burden of Rs
35 crore every year towards salary and establishment expenses of members, said Arukh after introducing the resolution.
It will now operate from Old Vidhan Soudh building.
Currently, seven States – Karnataka, Maharastra, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and Telangana – have
Legislative Councils.
Apart from these, Tamil Nadu’s then DMK Government had passed a law to set up a Council but the subsequent AIADMK government withdrew it after coming to power in 2010. Andhra Pradesh’s Legislative Council, set up in 1958, was abolished in 1985, and reconstituted in 2007.

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