Three bills, two seeking to create legislative councils in Rajasthan and Assam and another for scrapping the one in Tamil Nadu, have been put on the backburner by the Centre due to assembly elections in two states and reservations expressed by one state government.
An inter-ministerial group headed by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh examining the three bills brought by the previous Congress-led UPA government, has decided to take “no further action” due to assembly polls in Assam and Tamil Nadu in the middle of this year, sources said.
The Rajasthan government is learnt to have expressed reservation over creation of legislative council in the state. The Rajasthan Legislative Council Bill, 2013 was introduced in Rajya Sabha in August 2013 when the state was having a Congress government.
The Assam Legislative Council Bill, 2013 seeks to re-establish the upper house in the state legislature which was abolished soon after Independence.
The Tamil Nadu Legislative Council (Repeal) Bill, 2012 was introduced in Rajya Sabha in May 2012 and it seeks to repeal the Tamil Nadu Legislative Council Act, 2010.
Legislative councils in states are set up by an Act of Parliament. In 2013, Assam and Rajasthan assemblies adopted resolutions for creation of legislative councils with 42 and 66 members respectively.
“As elections are due in Assam and Tamil Nadu, the group has decided to take no further action as it would be fair for the new governments in these states to take a call,” said a senior government functionary.
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu and Law Minister D V Sadananda Gowda too were part of the group.
In its report on Rajasthan Legislative Council Bill, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Law and Personnel had recommended that the Centre should evolve a national policy for upper house in state legislatures so that once established, it could not be abolished by the incumbent government.
(With inputs from the PTI)