New Delhi, May 5 (IANS) The Rajya Sabha Wednesday approved a bill for creating a legislative council in Tamil Nadu with members from AIADMK and the Left parties opposing the move.
The Tamil Nadu Legislative Council Bill, 2010, which was introduced earlier in the day by Law Minister Veerapa Moily, was approved by voice vote.
AIADMK member V. Maitreyan said the bill has been brought by the government in a hurry after bulldozing other agenda. He said the council was abolished in the state in 1986 by former chief minister M.G. Ramnachandran and the party stood by that decision.
He said the government has succumbed to the ‘bulldozing’ of its ally DMK to bring the bill.
T.K. Rangarajan of the Communist Party of India-Marxist and D. Raja of Communist Party of India also opposed the bill.
Bharatiya Janata Party leader Venkaiah Naidu said his party was not against the bill in principle but the government should call an all-party meeting to discuss the issue of bicameral legislatures to have a uniform policy throughout the country.
He said state governments have been changing their stand on creation of a council. Naidu said the Tamil Nadu assembly had passed resolutions for or against the council depending on who was in power in the state.
Tarlcohan Singh, independent member from Haryana, and Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa of the Shiromani Akali Dal demanded that the government should bring a bill to create a legislative council in Punjab too. Members from Assam also demanded a council in their state.
In his reply, Law Minister M. Veerapa Moily said the constitution makers had left the choice to each state whether to have a council. He said commissions appointed by the government had never spoken against creation of these bodies.
The minister said that legislative councils had a role to play in view of the decentralisation of power through panchayati raj institutions.
‘Panchayats, zila parishads have become important segments…talent has to be picked up and brought to the houses,’ he said.
Moily said the Punjab government had conveyed to the central government in 2002 that there was no need of a council due to small size of the state.
He said Assam government had not responded to certain queries about creating a council in the state.
He said the central government had an open mind on the issue and if a state assembly passes a resolution for creation of council, the government will consider it. He added that the state has to bear the expense for running the council.