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Hyderabad: Political games trap councils

Posted January 24th, 2020, 10:23 AM IST

Hyderabad: Political games trap councils

Legislative Councils in the states have become like political footballs worth kicking around.

Whenever ruling parties face obstacles in passing crucial bills due to a lack of majority in the Councils they propose their abolition.

On the other side of the spectrum, when they smell a majority in the Upper House, ruling parties move resolutions in Assembly seeking revival of Councils.

The latest statement by AP Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy may spark a nationwide debate on the relevance of Councils. In fact, a debate is underway across the nation on whether there is a need to have Councils, at all.

After the bifurcation of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh, only six States have Legislative Councils. Several states abolished Councils long back and subsequently some states have passed resolutions on reviving them, which are pending in Parliament. A majority opinion is that Legislative Councils have turned into political rehabilitation centres and is causing needless financial burden on exchequers. In the combined AP, way back in 1985, the than Chief Minister N.T. Rama Rao abolished the Legis-lative Council furious that it was creating obstacles in the passing of crucial Bills. The incumbent Chief Minister of the residuary State, Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy is confronted with a similar situation. In 2007, YS Rajasekhar Reddy revived the Council.

After bifurcation, the Council was also bifurcated and a new Telangana Legislative Council came into existence. Right now, the Andhra Pradesh government is a situation where it has to take a call. It will be made clear on Monday when the YSRC will abolish the Council or retain it.

Whenever a new political party assumes power, it faces problems in the Councils while it comes to passing bills as Opposition parties enjoy majority. When the Telugu Desam came to power in 1983, it did not have a single member in the Council and Congress, with a full majority, made it for worse for TD when it came to passing of Bills.

YSRC, which has massive majority in the House, has only nine members in the 58-member Council. The main Opposition Telugu Desam party has majority with 23 members after the resignation of MLC Dokka Manikya Varaprasad and revolt by two other members.