The Chief Minister has called for an urgent cabinet meeting at 10 pm on Tuesday, and ordered for all ministers to be present.

History to repeat itself Andhra govt mulls abolishing Legislative Council
news Politics Tuesday, January 21, 2020 - 17:49

With the Bills to decentralise the capital of Andhra Pradesh facing a hurdle in the state's Legislative Council, the YSRCP government may abolish the Upper House of the State Legislature.

According to sources close to Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy, the proposal had been under 'serious consideration' and an official announcement is expected soon. 

The Chief Minister has called for an urgent cabinet meeting at 10 pm on Tuesday, and ordered for all ministers to be present. After the meeting, a proposal is expected to be sent to the Centre for its approval.

This comes after the YSRCP managed to pass the 'Andhra Pradesh Decentralisation and Inclusive Development of All Regions Bill 2020' with its brute 151-member majority in the Assembly on Monday, but hit a roadblock on Tuesday. 

Out of 58 seats in the Council, the opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) holds 28 while the YSRCP holds 9. Charman Shariff Mohammed Ahmed also belongs to the TDP. 

On Tuesday, the TDP gave a notice under Rule 71, demanding that a debate should take place before the Bills are tabled in the Council.

The Chairman agreed to the TDP demand, triggering a strong protest from Minister for Legislative Affairs B. Rajendranath Reddy, who urged him to reconsider the decision saying this would set a wrong precedent. 

The move led to a ruckus, forcing the chairman to adjourn the House twice. 

History repeating itself?

There is a precedent to the abolishment of the Legislative Council of Andhra Pradesh.

On May 31, 1985, after chief minister N T Rama Rao swept into power, he had abolished the Council claiming that it was redundant and caused a drain on the state exchequer.

However, observers said that NTR did so, as he found it difficult to push through controversial legislations and policy decisions in the Upper House, which was at that time dominated by the Congress, led by K Rosaiah.

Ironically, it was Jagan's father and former CM Y S Rajasekhar Reddy who revived the Council, after a gap of 22 years, in 2007.

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