Bhubaneswar: Expressing dismay over Union Minister Kiren Rijiju’s assertion that the Centre had no record of any proposal on formation of the Odisha Legislative Council, Speaker SN Patro said Friday it was forwarded way back in 2018 after the state Assembly passed a resolution to that effect. SN Patro, while talking about Rijiju’s statement Thursday in Rajya Sabha, said the Assembly resolution was submitted to the secretary general of both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha and also to the secretary, Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs and Law.
“It is shocking to know that the Centre has not received any resolution passed by Odisha Assembly for setting up the Legislative Council,” Patro told reporters here. “The resolution was passed in the Assembly September 6, 2018. The same was sent to the Centre September 18, 2018,” he added.
Patro also pointed out that the Assembly had in the past responded to Parliament’s query on this matter.
The Union Law and Justice minister, in a written reply to a query by BJD Rajya Sabha MP Prasanna Acharya, had maintained that the Centre did not have any record of Odisha Assembly’s resolution on setting up of a Legislative Council.
Assembly secretariat sources said that the resolution was passed in the absence of the opposition Congress and the BJP in the House. A total of 104 legislators in the 147-member House, including Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, had voted in favour of the resolution.
According to the sources, Odisha, in its proposal, had sought the formation of a 49-member no-reservation council – 16 of them to be elected by the MLAs, nine to be nominated by the governor, 16 more by zilla parishad and other local bodies and the rest from the electoral roll.
Odisha had suggested a six-year tenure for the members, who would have to be at least 30 years of age to be eligible for the council.
Currently, only six states in India – Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh – have Vidhan Parishad or Legislative Council.