Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council cannot hinder three-capital decision
Upper House can only sit on Bills for a while; TDP may ill-afford to use the Council to delay Bills on capital issue
VIJAYAWADA: At a time when the State government stepped up its efforts to go ahead with the proposed decentralisation of administration and development and is gearing up to pass Bills in the Legislative Assembly and Council in this regard, the stand to be taken by the TDP, which is opposing the move of the government, gains significance.
Though it would be a cakewalk for the ruling YSRC to get the approval of the Assembly, it will be a Herculean task for the treasury benches to get the nod of the Council as the opposition TDP has upper hand in the House.
Though the YSRC has absolute majority in the Assembly (151 MLAs out of total 175), the opposition TDP has 28 members in the 58-member Council (YSRC has only nine MLCs). The TDP, which is organising protests across the State against the three-capital proposal, may at best stall the Bills in the Council. However, experts opine that even if it does, it will be an empty victory.
“Once a Bill is passed by the Assembly, it will be referred to the Council for passage. If the Council rejects the Bill, the Assembly will approve the Bill again and send it to the Council for the second time. Then the Council should have to pass it or reject it.
Even if it rejects, the Bill will be deemed to have been passed. The opposition will have no other way, but to stage a walkout in protest,’’ a former Secretary of the combined AP Legislature told TNIE. According to rules, if the Council disagrees with a Bill passed by the Assembly, the Bill must be sent again for second time – from the Assembly to the Council.
Finally, the Assembly will have its way. The Council can only delay the passage of the Bill for three months in the first instance and for one month in the second. There is no provision for a joint sitting as in case of disagreement in Parliament over ordinary Bills. As for finance Bills, the Council is powerless.
A senior minister told TNIE that Legislative Council can only advise, not scuttle any legislation. Moreover, the capital issue being of grave importance and a political decision, the Council cannot sit on it or cause obstructions as the entire State will be watching. While the AP Legislative Assembly session will commence at 11 am on Monday, the Council will commence at 10 am on Tuesday