In over 110 years, Congress goes without representation in U.P. Legislative Council

Motilal Nehru was Congress' first MLC in the House in 1909

July 06, 2022 03:31 pm | Updated February 01, 2023 01:19 am IST - Lucknow:

Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. File

Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. File | Photo Credit: Kamal Narang

For the first time in more than 110 years of Uttar Pradesh's Legislative Council, the country's oldest party Congress will have no representative as its only member in the State's Upper House is set to retire on Wednesday.

The Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council had come into existence in 1887 and Motilal Nehru was Congress' first MLC in the House in 1909.

Deepak Singh, the grand old party's only MLC, is among the 12 members whose term in the Legislative Council is coming to an end. Poet Zahid Hassan alias Wasim Barelvi of the Samajwadi Party (SP) is also among those whose tenure is ending on Wednesday.

In March, the tenure of the lone Muslim minister in the Yogi Adityanath 1.0 government Mohsin Raza as the MLC had ended, while SP leader and Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council Ahmad Hassan had died in February.

In the recent polls to the State's Upper House, three new Muslim members, including State Minister Danish Azad Ansari of the BJP and two from the SP - Shahnawaz Khan and Jasmir Ansari - were elected.

The Congress, which is arguably going through its worst phase, is not in a position to send any of its representatives to the Legislative Council this time as it had won only two of the 403 seats in the assembly elections held earlier this year.

Congress Legislature Party leader Aradhana Mishra Mona termed the development "sad".

"It's sad that the country's oldest party's representation in the Upper House will become zero. But it is a democracy and the mandate of the people is paramount." She expressed confidence that the party would try to send its members to the Legislative Council through the MLC polls to be held from the local bodies and teachers' quota.

First meeting of the Legislative Council

According to the information given on the official website of the Legislative Council, it was constituted on January 5, 1887, and its first meeting was held three days later at the then Thornhill Memorial Hall in Allahabad.

This Upper House was recognised for the first time through the Government of India Act in 1935.

Initially, this House had only nine members. But in 1909, under the provisions of the Indian Council Act, the number was increased to 46 and subsequently raised to 100.

First Congress member in the Upper House

Congress leader Motilal Nehru became a member of this House in February 1909 and he is considered the first member of the Congress in the Legislative Council.

Since then, this is the first time that that the party will go without a representative, officials said.

The 12 members whose terms end on Wednesday include Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya and Minister Chaudhary Bhupendra Singh, but both of them have returned to the House after winning the recently held Legislative Council elections.

Six members from the SP and three from the Bahujan Samaj are also retiring.

After a stupendous victory in the assembly elections, the BJP has emerged stronger than earlier with 72 seats in the State's 100-member Legislative Council, while the main opposition SP has nine members

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