The West Bengal Assembly on Tuesday passed a resolution to set up Legislative Council with a two-thirds majority.
While 196 favoured, 69 opposed the resolution moved by Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Partha Chatterjee under Article 169. Senior Minister Subrata Mukherjee and Deputy Chief Whip Tapas Roy spoke in favour of it. The BJP legislators voted against it.
Leader of the Opposition Suvendu Adhikari said the passage of the resolution does not mean that the Council has come into existence.
“Under Article 169, Parliament will have to provide for creation of the Council. This means that it has not been created,” Mr. Adhikari said. The Nandigram MLA said the Council will involve expenditure of hundreds of crores to the State exchequer only to provide back room entry to those who have who lost the Assembly polls.
Mr. Roy said the BJP must first answer why hundreds of crores are spent on buying aircraft for Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had announced the setting up of the Council during the run up to the Assembly polls. The Legislative Council existed till 1969 till a resolution was passed in the Assembly for its dissolution. Ms. Banerjee and Finance Minister Amit Mitra are not members of the Assembly.
The Assembly witnessed noisy scenes amid BJP legislators’ walk out after Speaker Biman Banerjee did not allow discussion on post-poll violence .
Ms. Banerjee told the House that the BJP would not have won more than 35 seats had it not been for the Election Commission holding polls in eight phases and that too at the height of the pandemic.
She said incidents of post poll-violence occurred because the ECI had transferred officials. She said they abated after she was sworn in on May 5.