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Patnaik's Vidhan Parishad move draws flak.

THE Naveen Patnaik government's move to set up a Vidhan Parishad or legislative council, thus making the state legislature bicameral at a time when the state is facing a financial crunch has invited flak from the Opposition. T he move is being seen as a ploy by the chief minister to rehabilitate his party leaders who lost the last elections.

Coming down heavily on the Odisha government's legislative council move, senior BJP leader Bijay Mohapatra said: " Where is the need for creating another House of the state legislature when they are unable to run the assembly for 60 days. Working days of the Assembly have been curtailed several times. Under the circumstances, if a council is created it will mean nothing but a massive wastage of state's resources. It will only serve the purpose of rehabilitating ruling party leaders who have lost elections." Union Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas and senior BJP leader Dharmendra Pradhan said the move would be welcome only if the government is able to ensure that the Assembly runs properly without its working days getting curtailed.

Slamming the move, state Congress president Prasad Harichandan said: " In the past, I had moved a private members bill for setting up a legislative council, but back then, the government showed no interest in it. Now suddenly it is planning to have a council because of political compulsions.

The issue needs to be examined closely." Parliamentary affairs minister, Bikram Keshari Arukh on Friday announced that a five- member committee of MLAs would visit states having bicameral legislatures and submit a report. He also held consultations with state Assembly Secretary Amiya Sarangi and Parliamentary Affairs Secretary G. Mathivathan.

Arukh, however, sought to justify the creation of a council saying there was a demand for state legislature being made bi- cameral.

" We decided to take the initiative as there is a demand for this from various sections of people including intellectuals," said Arukh.

" State's financial condition is not good. Only recently they raised the value added tax ( VAT) on diesel and petrol making these products costlier. That raises a pertinent question about the government being able to bear the financial cost of the council," said Shashi Kant Mishra, a state political analyst said.

Oppn says making the cashstrapped state's legislature bicameral is a ploy to accommodate BJD leaders who lost polls

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:Jan 4, 2015
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