Vijayawada: The Andhra Pradesh Assembly on Monday unanimously resolved that “the State Legislative Council of Andhra Pradesh be abolished.”
All the 133 members present in the House — 132 belonging to the ruling YSR Congress and one from Jana Sena —voted for the resolution while Telugu Desam members boycotted the day’s proceedings. Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, who moved the resolution, pressed for division.
As many as 18 ruling party members, including whip Ch Bhaskar Redddy, did not take part in the voting reflecting the poor floor management. While 21 TD members boycotted the Assembly proceedings, two TD legislators, who have since switched over their loyalties to YSRC, abstained from the voting apparently to avoid anti-defection proceedings.
There was confusion for some time with the Speaker initially announcing that the resolution was adopted with 121 members supporting it.
Municipal administration minister Botsa Satyanarayana, however, brought to the Chair’s notice that the head count was incorrect.
Centre to tackle Council issue now
The Assembly staff once again took the headcount following which the Speaker announced that 133 members were present and they had supported the resolution.
As the resolution warrants support of two-third of the members present and voted, Speaker Tammineni Sitaram announced that the resolution seeking abolition of the Council was adopted unanimously before adjourning the House sine die.
As per the procedure, the resolution would be sent to the Centre for approval of the Parliament and Presidential assent.
Winding up the debate on the resolution, the Chief Minister said a decision to abolish the Council was taken in the larger interest of people and to ensure that their welfare and state’s development are not hampered.
The Council is used as a tool in a larger conspiracy hatched by the Opposition to deprive people of development.
"It (Council) is totally useless and a burden on exchequer," he said.
Responding to allegations that the three-day recess to Assembly was to indulge in horse-trading, Mr Jagan Mohan Reddy said had he approved horse-trading, TD chief N. Chandrababu Naidu would have lost the status of Leader of Opposition long back.
"We are here to herald a change in politics," he said adding that he had clearly announced on Thursday that the House would be convened on Monday to recommend abolition of the Council.
While the Telugu Desam had earlier abolished the Council in 1983 to avoid the summoning of a media baron by the Upper House, the YSRC is proud of itself for seeking abolition for people's welfare though the party is poised to gain majority in another one year.
The Chief Minister reiterated that his three capitals would result in creating large-scale employment without any injustice to any particular section of the society or region.
Mr Jagan Mohan Reddy said the framers of the Constitution too were against the second chamber and left it to the States to decide on it.
Only six states have a Council and several dispensed with it earlier. The spirit behind the Council is to obtain informed advices from the educated in the Council, the Chief Minister said. He pointed out that the present Assembly is represented by 38 post graduates, 13 medical doctors, 14 engineers and 68 graduates besides civil servants, teachers and farmers.
He concluded his speech quoting Martin Luther King Jr's popular saying "The time is always right to do what is right," and invoked divine blessings to dispense with the Council at the earliest....