BREAKING NEWS

If Jagan has his way, AP may abolish Legislative Council

The State government is contemplating abolishing the Legislative Council and the proposal is likely to come up for discussion at the Cabinet meeting scheduled for December 27. The Council was abolished once in undivided Andhra Pradesh and it came into existence again during Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy’s tenure in 2007.
 
According to information, the Jagan Mohan Reddy government reportedly “felt embarrassed” when the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) pressed for certain amendments to the AP State Commission for Scheduled Castes Bill, 2019, aimed at constituting an exclusive commission for the SCs, and also when it pressed for the AP Education (Amendment) Bill to enable conversion of Classes 1 to 6 in schools to English medium of instruction. 
 
The TDP stalled two important Bills by incorporating certain amendments and sending them back to the Assembly. This had set the government thinking, sources say. “Yes, there has been talk in this regard. A decision is likely to be announced soon,” a senior leader of the YSRCP, who did not want to be quoted, said.
 
The YSRCP enjoys an overwhelming majority in the Assembly (151 in a House of 175), but in the 58-member Council, its strength is just nine. The TDP has 29 members, followed by others, including two from the BJP. The YSRCP will have to wait for at least a couple of years to gain the upper hand in the Council. The outcome of elections to urban and rural local bodies will have a bearing on the YSRCP’s hopes to garner a majority in the Council.
 
Fate of Bills
 
Eight seats will fall vacant in 2021 under the Local Authorities Constituencies quota. Only a good show by the ruling party in the local bodies elections will determine its position in the Council.
 
“There could be at least four or five sessions by the time Council elections are conducted in 2021 and if the Opposition stalls important Bills with its majority, the government’s plans will go awry. Hence the Chief Minister does not want to leave anything to chance,” a senior leader said.
 
Formalities could take a few months in the event of the government making up its mind as a resolution has to be first adopted by the Legislature and sent to Parliament for an enactment, the sources say.

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