Vijayawada: Having failed to pass the three capitals Bill, Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy will recommend to the Centre to abolish the State Legislative Council soon.
Replying to a debate on Tuesday’s developments in the Council, initiated by minister for legislative affairs Buggana Rajen-dranath Reddy in the legislative Assembly on Thursday, the CM said, “I felt pain after witnessing how the Council functioned on Wednesday with the Leader of the Oppos-ition N. Chandrababu Naidu sitting in the VIP gallery and influencing the chairman to take a decision to favour of his party by referring the two Bills to the select committee. This has shattered my hopes and that of five crore people of the State.
The chairman failed to take independent decision due to the presence of Naidu in the gallery. We introduced the Bills in the Council with a hope that they may be either accepted, amended or even rejected. But this did not happen. As per rule, there is no chance for the Bills to be referred to the select committee. However, the Chair used discretionary powers despite having no such provision. His decision is unfortunate and if we accept people who misuse the Council, it will not be right and so we should not accept his decision. The chairman admitted to a mistake on the pretext of procedural lapses and again committed another mistake by referring the Bills to the select committee. Is it not murder of democracy?” he asked.
He said that to avoid such mistakes again, they need to think on the need to have an Upper House in the state as out of 28 states in the country, only six have bicameral legislature. Maintaining that the Assembly has highly qualified members and professionals like doctors, engineers, lawyers, actors, teachers and former civil servants, the CM asked whether the Council was needed to represent professionals and intellectuals. He said that the Council was not using its brains and either delaying or stalling the Bills and flouting norms. When it failed to fulfil the aspirations of the people, there was no need for it to function any longer, he said.
“In the Constitution, there is no word called capital and it is the seat of governance for administration. People in the State have voted to decentralise governance. Where the CM works with his secretaries is the Secretariat. A resolution is enough to govern the State from anywhere in it. Assembly can also be set up anywhere and under Article 174 of the Constitution, legislation can be done from anywhere in the State. The State Government set up the Legislative Council to give suggestions to it as the Council has intellectuals. It is not mandatory at all. If the Council works with political motives and stalls Bills passed by the Assembly, it will not help the people. We are spending `1 crore a day to run the Council and if it functions for 60 days in a year, we have to spend `60 crore. Let’s decide whether to continue the Council or not to clean up the system through a debate in the Assembly on January 27,” he said.
Earlier, finance minister Buggna Rajendranath Reddy alleged that Mr Naidu sat in the VIP gallery for four hours to influence Council chairman M.D. Sharif. Any attempt to influence the Chair was tantamount to violation of rule. He objected to remarks of Leader of Opposition in the Council Yanamala Ramakrishnudu saying that ministers had entered the Council after consuming liquor on Wednesday. The Council sheltering those who failed to get elected, he said.
Criticising Mr Chandrababu Naidu, Minister for Civil Supplies Kodali Venkateswara Rao said that the CM’s impact had forced him to sit in the gallery and predicted that Naidu would sit in the Assembly VIP gallery soon. He credited late CM Y.S.R. Reddy with helping Mr N. Lokesh to become MLC as it was he who revived the Council during his regime earlier.
YSR Congress MLA Ambati Rambabu slammed Chandrababu Naidu for manipulating the system, including judiciary, legislature and media, and alleged that he was trying to play politics even in the Council session to stall the Bills.
Deputy CM Pilli Subash Chandra Bose underlined the need to rewrite the procedures in making legislation if they were being subjected to misuse. He said that when they informed the CM to opt for a Joint Select Committee as they have eight members out of 12 so that they would have an upper hand in passing Bills, the latter refused as he wanted fair play by the Council.
After several members spoke at length on the issue, Speaker Tammineni Sitaram adjourned the Assembly to resume on January 27 to discuss the Council issue....