Kolkata: A resolution for reviving the
Legislative Council in West Bengal after 42 years was moved in
the state Assembly on Tuesday by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
Speaking on the resolution, she said though her government
had the majority to pass the resolution, she requested the
Speaker to make constitutional provisions so that there could
be threadbare discussion on it.
Defending the move for revival of the Upper House, which
was abolished in 1969, Banerjee said the Council was not meant
only for bigwigs, but also for people about whom nobody
thought of like a rickshaw puller or a landless labourer who
would also get a chance to speak about their problems.
The Council would help in bringing people from a cross
section of the society, she said.
Speaker Biman Bandopadhyay, while accepting Banerjee`s
suggestion, announced setting up of a 15-member special
committee which would send its recommendations to the House
within six weeks.
Leader of the Opposition Suryakanta Mishra said that
setting up a Council would put an additional burden on the
exchequer at a time when the state was facing a fund crunch.
He said a bicameral system was necessary for the country,
but expressed the doubt if it was needed in a state.
Mishra suggested that instead of having a Council,
advisory councils and committees could be formed.
Government Chief Whip Sobhandeb Chatterjee, however,
countered Mishra`s argument and pointed out that there were
seven states where the upper house existed.