**Bhubaneswar: ** The proposed Legislative Council in addition to the existing Odisha Legislative Assembly has been vehemently opposed by the main opposition party Congress alleging that the BJD-ruled State Government led by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has taken a unilateral decision bypassing the Leader of Opposition and also not taking all the poltical parties into confidence in the Assembly before taking such a vital constitutional decision.
Coming down heavily, Congress Chief Whip Tara Prasad Bahinipati burst, “The State that proposes for Bidhan Parishad (Legislative Council), need to convene an all party meeting first and discuss thoroughly in the Assembly. But it is unfortunate to note that Naveen Babu armed with a majority of 117 MLAs has formed the committee for the purpose on his own. Even the Leader of Opposition has not been taken into confidence. Had the exercise been done as per norms, we would have cooperated. Let them do it legally, we’ll definitely support.”
“Two years ago, the State Governmnt here was on its toes as the Panchayat poll was ahead then. After the rural polls, the State Government went into a deep slumber. Now the general election is round the corner. This Legislative Council is meant for rehabilitating their (BJD’s) dissident leaders. As Congress party is growing day by day now, Naveen Babu is also growing more apprehensive. That’s why his keenness for the Bidhan Parishad,” the senior Congress MLA lambasted.
On the contrary, BJD vice-president and senior Minister Surya Narayan Patra defended, “Legislative Council is there in many States of our nation. A few years ago, opinions were raised for setting up Legislative Council in Odisha. Basing on it, a committee has been formed led by Dr Nrusingha Sahu. The committee had been to some States having the Legislative Council for study. Also they will be touring two more for further study.”
“Legislative Council is a constitutional body. Following the lots of discussions both inside and outside Assembly, the committee has been formed. After the report is submitted with the State Government, the matter will materialize only after passed in the Assembly,” he argued.
Need to be mentioned that, demands from various quarters have been made for Odisha having a Legislative Council along with the main Assembly like other States. Legislative Councils have been created in Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telengana and Uttar Pradesh so that people having excelled in various fields become the members and take part in law-making exercise.
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