The Odisha State Assembly has passed resolution seeking creation of Legislative Council (Vidhan Parishad or second house of legislature). The resolution was passed with as many as 104 of total 147 legislators casting their votes in its favour. The resolution now will be sent to Central Government (Union cabinet) for approval, following which it will be tabled in both houses of the Parliament. Thereafter, presidential assent is required to make it Act.
The proposal for creation of Legislative Council in Odisha was passed by State Cabinet chaired by Chief Ministry in August 2018. The proposed Council will have 49 members (one-third size of state assembly. State government plans to function legislative council from old assembly building while the existing assembly secretariat will cater to its administrative needs.
Legislative Council :
- India has bicameral system of legislature. Just as Parliament has two Houses, States can have Legislative Council (LC) in addition to the Legislative Assembly if they choose to. This option is available under Article 171 of the Constitution.
- Under Article 169, legislative council can be formed if state legislative assembly passes resolution to that effect by majority of total membership of assembly and by majority of not less than two-thirds of members of assembly present and voting (i.e. by Special Majority). Parliament can then pass a law to this effect.
- Under Article 171 of Constitution, Legislative Council of state cannot have MLCs more than one-third of total number of MLAs of state assembly and not less than 40 members. Jammu & Kashmir is exception, as Section 50 of state’s Constitution, Assembly has 87 members and Legislative Council 36. The tenure of Member of Legislative Council (MLC) is six years (similar to Rajya Sabha MPs), with one-third of members retiring every two years.
- Currently, seven states have Legislative Councils viz. Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Telangana.