Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Assembly today passed a resolution for setting up a Legislative Council in the state.
The resolution was passed after it got support of 104 of the 147 members of the State Assembly while opposition Congress and BJP members stayed away from the House.
Chief Minister Naveen Patanik caste the first vote in favour of the proposed legislative council. “Odisha has picked up growth momentum and to further accelerate growth, wider consultations are necessary. In this context legislative council will be of great help,” Naveen said.
However, the opposition alleged that the state government’s move for establishment of a Legislative Council, had intention to “rehabilitate” the ruling BJD leaders. They walked out of the House in protest.
Congress chief whip Taraprasad Bahinipati told the media persons that while poor people in the state are in a precarious condition, the ruling party has passed the resolution to rehabilitate its disgruntled leaders in the council.
BJP legislature party leader K V Singhdeo too echoed Bahinipati’s claim. “There was no need to set up a legislative council in Odisha keeping the state’s population in mind as big states like Madhya Pradesh has no such legislative council,” he added.
Recently, the State cabinet had approved to set up a legislative council in the state with 49 members. About Rs 35 crore will be spent per year for the council.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister B K Arukha said the proposed council will have 49 members and one-third (16) of the council will be elected by the states MLAs, another 1/3rd (16) by sitting members of local governments such as municipalities and Zilla Parishads, 1/12th (4) by an electorate of teachers and another 1/12th (4) by registered graduates.
The remaining nine members will be appointed by the Governor for distinguished services in various fields.
The Legislative Council will function as a permanent house and its two-third members of will retire on every two years.
The minister said that the council will function from Sardar Patel hall in Unit-II area.