Madhya Pradesh wants Legislative Council

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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.

Highlights:

  • Under Article 169, a Legislative Council can be formed if the Legislative Assembly of the State passes a resolution.
  1. 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.
  2. 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. 1/3rd of the MLCs are elected by the state’s MLAs,
  2. Another 1/3rd by a special electorate comprising sitting members of local governments such as municipalities and district boards
  3. 1/12th by an electorate of teachers and
  4. Another 1/12th by registered graduates.
  5. The remaining members are appointed by the Governor for distinguished services in various fields.
  • The legislative power of the Councils is limited,
  1. Unlike Rajya Sabha which has substantial powers to shape non-financial legislation, Legislative Councils lack a constitutional mandate to do so.
  2. Assemblies can override suggestions/amendments made to a legislation by the Council.
  3. MLCs cannot vote in elections for the President and Vice President.
  4. The Vice President is the Rajya Sabha Chairperson; an MLC is the Council Chairperson.
  • Currently, 6 states have Legislative Councils,
  1. A.P, Bihar, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Telengana, U.P.
  2. 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.

 

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