Odisha cabinet approves formation of State Legislative Council

Bhubaneswar: In a significant move, Odisha approved a draft for constitution of State Legislative Council at the cabinet meeting here today.

The meeting chaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik approved eight proposals including Odisha Legislative Council.

A resolution will be brought in the upcoming monsoon session of the Legislative Assembly for formation of Odisha Legislative Council, informed Parliamentary Affairs Minister BK Aarukh after the cabinet meeting.

The monsoon session is scheduled to begin on September 4.

Once the state Assembly approves the resolution, it will be sent for the approval of Parliament under Article 169 of the Constitution of India.

The proposed State Legislative Council will be comprised of 49 members.

As per article 171 clause (1) of Indian Constitution, the total number of members in the Legislative Council of a State shall not exceed one third of the total number of members in the Legislative Assembly of that State and the total number of members in the Legislative Council of a State shall in no case be less than 40. As the total number of members in Odisha Assembly is 147, the total number of members in the Legislative Council will be 49, Aarukh said.

The committee led by Transport Minister Nrushingha Charan Sahu had submitted the report to the CM recommending formation of the Legislative Council in Odisha on August 3 after visiting Bihar and Telangana to study the functioning of the Legislative Councils in those States, the Minister told the reporters.

Earlier, the panel had toured Maharashtra and Karnataka for the same purpose after its constitution in 2015.

Notably, the State Government had formed the committee headed by Transport Minister Nrusingha Charan Sahu in 2015. The panel had three members from the ruling BJD– Nrusingha Charan Sahu, Pramila Mallik and Manohar Randhari; and two Opposition members Bhujabal Majhi and Nitesh Gangdev of the Congress and BJP, respectively.

Besides, the cabinet also agreed to amend the Odisha Hindu Religious Endowments Act,1951, by providing for government control at the stage of framing of schemes as well as nominating government officers and trustees.

The proposed amendment will ensure the smooth and transparent functioning of the trust board and safeguard the interests of the deity, religious institutions and the Hindu public.

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