The move, backed by 133 YSRCP MLAs, comes after TDP’s opposition to two capital decentralization bills
The resolution now has to be sent to the Centre, which has to approve it and pass a bill related to it
The Andhra Pradesh assembly on Monday passed a resolution to abolish the state’s legislative council, with 133 legislators of the ruling YSR Congress Party (YSRCP), which has 151 seats in the 175-member assembly, backing the decision.
The move comes after the main Opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP), which has 27 members out of the total of 58 in the council, sent two bills related to the decentralization of Andhra Pradesh’s capital to a select committee.
The YSRCP, miffed with the constant opposition in the council, decided to dissolve it.
Last week, during a special winter assembly session, TDP, led by former chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, created a roadblock for the YSRCP in the council by sending the Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority Repeal Bill 2020 and the Andhra Pradesh Decentralisation and Inclusive Development of all Regions Bill 2020, which deal with the capital’s decentralizaton, to a select committee for further deliberation, after it was passed in the assembly.
Once the bills, which deal with decentralizing the state’s capital between Amaravati, Visakhapatnam, and Kurnool, reach the select committee, they will have to be deliberated upon for one to three months, after which they will be sent back to the assembly. However, once the assembly passes the bills for a second time, it will be deemed to have been passed in the council, as the powers of the upper House are limited.
“Everybody knows that if the council was allowed to continue, our party would get a full majority. But the need for reaching out to the people through welfare programmes is more important to us than increasing the party strength. Hence, the resolution was passed for the abolition of the Council," YSRCP leader and chief minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy said while addressing the assembly on Monday.
A YSRCP leader, who did not want to be named, said that Naidu, as an Opposition leader, had opposed the creation of the legislative council in 2004, when the bill to create it was proposed by the late former chief minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, the father of Jagan Mohan Reddy.
“The next process after passing such a resolution is to send it to the Centre, which has to approve it and pass a bill, which then has to be passed by both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha. The bill has to be signed by the President of India, which will become an Act, following which the council will be abolished. It is a long process," said a former legislator and political analyst who did not want to be identified.
In December, the state-government appointed an expert committee headed by G.N. Rao, which recommended that Visakhapatnam be made the executive capital and Kurnool in the Rayalaseema region the legal capital with the high court located there. The committee suggested that Amaravati could house the governor’s office and the assembly, becoming the legislative capital of the state. This was followed by the state government setting up a high-power committee to examine the recommendations of the G.N. Rao committee.
Farmers in the Amaravati capital city region have been up in arms mainly because the previous government, which was led by Naidu, had acquired 33,000 acres of farm land from hundreds of them for the development of Amaravati as the capital.
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