Since Mamata Banerjee lost in Nandigram a high-profile seat, she is now seeking to revive the Legislative Council. Currently there only 6 states that have a Legislative Council: Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh.
50 years back, a legislative council existed in Bengal however it was abolished by a coalition government of Left Parties. Having a Legislative council is not a decision that is exclusively taken by the states but the central government. The central government has the power to pass a bill to this effect. While two senior ministers of TMC and a legislator were in the custody of the Central Bureau of Investigation in the Narada sting operation case, Mamata Banerjee conducted a virtual meeting with senior leaders of TMC, asking the senior bureaucrats to prepare a draft bill. TMC leaders told Mamata Banerjee that with a two-thirds majority in the assembly, the bill can be passed easily. The Left parties have opposed the setting up of Vidhan Parishad.
The strength of Vidhan Parishad cannot be more than a third of the Vidhan Sabha, Bengal can allocate 98 members in the legislative council and Bengal has 294 assembly seats. TMC leaders say that after the setting up of the legislative council we can accommodate those who could not get elected in the legislative assembly or were excluded from the party. The proposal for setting up legislative counsel was cleared by the cabinet and would be going to the Governor next for approval.
The TMC won the 2021 elections and won 213 seats out of 292 seats and the Bharatiya Janata Party won 77 seats and to clear or abolish a state legislative council, the state legislative assembly has to pass a resolution that is supported by the majority of the house.
Amit Mitra, Bengals Finance Minister is currently not a member of the Legislative assembly and will be nominated to the legislative council after it is established. Members in the legislative assembly (lower house) are voted by the people however in legislative council (Upper House) nominations are done by the governor or the elected members of the legislative assembly. After the council is set up in West Bengal, it will be the 7th Indian state to have a bicameral legislative system.
The biggest question is, will the central government pass the bill?
Considering the current circumstances, the TMC party led by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee seems very positive about setting up the Vidhan Parishad (Upper House). Will the central government approve it? According to Indian Constitution, Article 169 the establishment of a Vidhan Parishad can only be passed in the parliament with a certain majority.
The relationship between Mamata Banerjee and the Centre is not very good. Mamata Banerjee has constantly taken jibes at PM Modi and the centre. On Thursday PM Modi held a meeting with Chief Ministers virtually, on COVID-19. Mamata Banerjee alleged that PM Modi did not let her voice her opinion and other Chief Ministers were just sitting there like puppets, only PM Modi was talking.
5th May 2021: 66-year-old, Mamata Banerjee who took an oath for the first time exactly 10 years back on this day, won again in the 2021 elections after giving a tough fight to the Bharatiya Janata Party.
On this day 10 years back, I took oath as CM for the first time to serve the people of #WestBengal as we embarked on a new path for the state’s development.
I'm grateful to Maa-Mati-Manush for always blessing me with their trust. I pledge to take #Bangla to even greater heights.
— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) May 20, 2021
Even after winning the Bengal elections, Mamata Banerjee was not happy about losing Nandigram from where she was contesting against Suvendhu Adhikari. Suvendhu Adhikari quit TMC and joined the Bharatiya Janata Party. Mamata Banerjee, after losing the Nandigram elections said, don’t worry about Nandigram because I fought a movement, it is okay. Let Nandigram people give whatever verdict they want to and I accept that. I don’t mind. We have won the state further adding that she would be going to the court as she is in the knowledge of some malpractices while counting the votes. Election Commission rejected the Party’s demand for a recount to be done of the Nandigram votes. Despite losing in Nandigram the constitution allows Mamata Banerjee to become the Chief Minister. Under Article 164(4) an unelected minister can still become the Chief Minister however after assuming office he or she will have to get elected within the six months.
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