The West Bengal cabinet, chaired by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, on Monday approved formation of the upper house of the state legislature, in its second meeting on Monday.
The setting up of the Legislative Council, to again make West Bengal one of the few states with a bicameral legislature, was one of the main manifesto points of the Trinamool Congress in the recent Assembly elections.
Chief Minister Banerjee, who spent most of her time at the Nizam Palace with her party leaders who were arrested by the CBI in the Narada case, attended the cabinet meeting where the proposal for the formation of the Council was approved. The Trinamool government had resolved to form the Council within the first 100 days of her government, as was reported by IANS earlier.
Sources in the cabinet said that the Legislative Council is likely to comprise eminent persons, who will play an active role in shaping the state’s functions.
The Legislative Council, or Vidhan Parishad, is the upper house of the state legislature and plays a key role in legislation.
The state government is likely to pass a resolution in the Assembly after which it will be the constitutional mandate and obligation of the Parliament to complete the formality by passing a law to that effect.
“There are three steps before the formation of the Council. After the approval of the cabinet, it will be sent to the Governor for approval and once it is approved the intricate details of the formation of the Council will be discussed in the Assembly and then the law will be framed. The cabinet has already given the approval and so it will be sent for the Governor’s consent,” a senior cabinet minister said.
Six Indian states — Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and Telengana — have state Legislative Councils.
The West Bengal Legislative Council came into existence in 1952 but it was abolished by the legislature in March 1969.