The Madhya Pradesh government has indicated that it plans to initiate steps towards creation of a Legislative Council.
About Legislative Council:
- India has a bicameral system i.e., two Houses of Parliament. At the state level, the equivalent of the Lok Sabha is the Vidhan Sabha or Legislative Assembly; that of the Rajya Sabha is the Vidhan Parishad or Legislative Council.
- A second House of legislature is considered important for two reasons: one, to act as a check on hasty actions by the popularly elected House and, two, to ensure that individuals who might not be cut out for the rough-and-tumble of direct elections too are able to contribute to the legislative process.
- Under Article 169, a Legislative Council can be formed if the Legislative Assembly of the State passes a resolution.
- The resolution has to be a majority of the total membership of the Assembly and by a majority of not less than 2/3rd of the members of the Assembly present and voting.
- Parliament can then pass a law to this effect.
- Under Article 171 of the Constitution, the Legislative Council of a state shall not have more than 1/3rd of the number of MLAs of the state, and not less than 40 members. In that,
- 1/3rd of the MLCs are elected by the state’s MLAs,
- Another 1/3rd by a special electorate comprising sitting members of local governments such as municipalities and district boards
- 1/12th by an electorate of teachers and
- Another 1/12th by registered graduates.
- The remaining members are appointed by the Governor for distinguished services in various fields.
- The legislative power of the Councils is limited,
- Unlike Rajya Sabha which has substantial powers to shape non-financial legislation, Legislative Councils lack a constitutional mandate to do so.
- Assemblies can override suggestions/amendments made to a legislation by the Council.
- MLCs cannot vote in elections for the President and Vice President.
- The Vice President is the Rajya Sabha Chairperson; an MLC is the Council Chairperson.
- Currently, 6 states have Legislative Councils,
- A.P, Bihar, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Telengana, U.P.
- Jammu and Kashmir had it, until the state was bifurcated into the Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh.
- The Odisha Assembly recently passed a resolution for a Legislative Council.
- Proposals to create Councils in Rajasthan and Assam are pending in Parliament.