New Delhi: A Bill to raise the number of members of the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council from 50 to 58 got the approval of Parliament on Friday.
The Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, which had earlier received the nod from Lok Sabha, was passed by Rajya Sabha today by a voice vote.
The bill states that as per the Constitution, the total number of members in the Legislative Council would not exceed one-third of the total number of legislative assembly members and should not be less than 40.
After the division, AP was left with 175 members in the legislative assembly and the members in the state legislative council was 50. Since one-third of 175 come to 58, it was decided to increase the strength of the state's Upper House.
Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju moved the motion for the passage of Bill, which was passed by the House.
Earlier K V P Ramachandra Rao (Cong) said none in Andhra Pradesh has benefitted from the bifurcation as the state has suffered financial losses. He demanded special category status for the state and declaration of Polavaram as a national project.
Supporting him, party member T Subbarami Reddy demanded special category status for Andhra Pradesh while A B Rapolu appealed the government to look into the issue of river water distribution.
Members from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana wanted a debate on the issue to which Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said the Home Ministry is already looking into the concerns of the members and some senior officials will meet the Chief Secretaries of both the states.
To this, senior CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury said there were many contentious issues like which of the states will share the liabilities and if the minister assures the House to come back after examining the issues, the bill can be taken up for passage.
Naidu said on contentious issues, the government will inform the House.
To this, Deputy Chairman P J Kurien said the government has accepted to address the issues.
Other members also spoke including Jesudasu Seelam (Cong) who said the BJP erroneously blamed Congress for bifurcation.