Page Nav


Gradient Skin




Will Bengal get a Legislative Council?

West Bengal had a Legislative Council till 1969, before a coalition of Left parties abolished the Legislative Council as they considered the...

West Bengal had a Legislative Council till 1969, before a coalition of Left parties abolished the Legislative Council as they considered the upper house to be a symbol of elitism. In keeping with the promise made by the Trinamool Congress before the all-important 2021 state elections, the TMC on July 6 passed a resolution favouring the establishment of a Vidhan Parishad (Legislative Council) in the state. Out of the 265 members present and voting, 196 Trinamool legislators voted in favour of the resolution, while 69 members from the BJP and the lone Indian Secular Front legislator voted it.

While one reason to set up the Legislative Council (as the Chief Minister states herself) is the party can bring back its important leaders who could not be given tickets to fight the 2021 state elections.  Another according to the Trinamool is to “bring in intellectuals with varied experience to offer better governance”.

However, the BJP believes that the state Government’s move will ensure a “backdoor entry into the legislature”, especially for those who lost in the assembly election including Mamata Banerjee herself. The BJP has also stated that the CM’s loyalists in civil society will be accommodated with the help of the Legislative Council.

Opposing the motion in the assembly, the BJP said this move would put a burden of Rs 600-800 crore on the government exchequer. Countering the BJP's claim, the Industry & Parliamentary Affairs minister said, “We are following all rules laid down in the constitution. BJP-ruled states like Karnataka, Bihar, Utah Pradesh have upper houses, I don’t see the BJP opposing their existence and questioning the burden of the exchequer there."

But what happens next?  In my opinion despite Banerjee’s push to establish a Legislative Council in the State, the possibility of it coming into existence is next to impossible as Article 169 of the Constitution says that apart from the Legislative Assembly of the state passing a resolution for the establishment of a Legislative Council by 2/3rd majority  (which has been achieved by the West Bengal Legislative Assembly) the Parliament of India too needs to pass a resolution with a simple majority for the creation of the Legislative Council in the state, and considering Mamata Banerjee and her party's relationship with the BJP, it is next to impossible that the BJP, who enjoy a comfortable majority in the Lok Sabha will support the creation of a Legislative Council. The creation of Legislative Council in the State is definitely next to impossible. But one thing’s for sure, this is yet another flashpoint between the Central Government and the West Bengal government.

- Michael Joachim Ganpat, Student Correspondent


No comments