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The Andhra Pradesh legislative assembly today passed a resolution to dissolve the state’s  Legislative Council. In the 175-member assembly, it was a cakewalk for Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy’s YSRCP, which has 151 members, to pass the resolution after a day-long discussion.

The resolution was tabled in the Assembly following a meeting of the cabinet chaired by the Chief Minister to do away with the legislative council of the state.

The resolution will now be sent to the centre for its introduction of a bill. As per article 169 of the Constitution of India, Parliament may by law introduce a bill to do the same once a resolution is ratified by not less than two third of members of the legislative assembly.

Once Parliament by law abolishes the legislative council in Andhra Pradesh, then the YSRCP government will have a smooth sail.

This moves comes days after a stand-off between the ruling YSR Congress Party and Telegu Desam Party MLC’s in the upper house on the issue of Capital Region Development Act repeal bill and having three separate capitals. The Legislative Council had adopted a resolution on January 22, moved by the Telugu Desam Party against the YSR Congress government’s decision. Both the bills were then referred to a select committee which is nothing else but delaying tactics.

Chief Minister had already hinted at the dissolution of the upper house on Thursday. He had also said that Rs 60 crore per year and Rs 300 for five-year tenure on the council would go to waste if the council would stop the passage of bills.

Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council

The Legislative Council of the state 58 members. The Telugu Desam Party led by former Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu has 28 members whereas the ruling YSRCP has only nine.

The Legislative council has existed in Andhra Pradesh in two spells — from 1958 to 1985, and from 2007 to 2020.

In the year 1985, the ruling Telegu Desam Party government had moved a resolution to abolish the assembly, thus becoming the first state to do so.

But in 2004, when the Congress returned to power led by late YS Rajasekhar Reddy, father of Jaganmohan Reddy, moved a resolution in the assembly for the constitution of legislative council. It was later ratified by both the Houses of Parliament as well got President ascent in the year 2007.

What is Legislative Council?

Legislative council is the upper house of the state legislature. The role of legislative council is same as that of the Rajya Sabha. The membership rules are also almost same as that of Rajya Sabha. The tenure of each member of legislative council is six years.

Strength of a council cannot exceed one third of the strength of the legislative assembly, the minimum number being 40.

However, before the abrogation of article 370, Jammu and Kashmir had a 37 member legislative council as an exception.

As per the Article 169 of the Constitution of India, Parliament may by law provide for the abolition or creation of legislative council in a state if the assembly passes a resolution with not less than two third of the members voting for the same.

How many states have legislative councils in India?

Currently, there are only six states which have legislatives councils, including Andhra Pradesh. The rest are Telangana with a strength of 40 members, Bihar and Karnataka with 75 members each, Maharashtra with 78 and Uttar Pradesh with 100 members.

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