WHY IN NEWS?
- Recently, the West Bengal government has decided to set up a Legislative Council (Vidhan Parishad).
- For setting up the Council, a Bill has to be introduced in the Assembly and then a nod from the Governor is required. The Legislative Council in the State was abolished in 1969.
Article 169 (Creation and Abolition):
- The Parliament can abolish a Legislative Council (where it already exists) or create it (where it does not exist) by a simple majority, that is, a majority of the members of each House present and voting, if the legislative assembly of the concerned state, by a special majority, passes a resolution to that effect.
- Currently 6 states have bicameral legislature- Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka.
Special majority implies
- A majority of the total membership of the assembly and
- A majority of not less than two-thirds of the members of the assembly present and voting.
- Under Article 171 of the Constitution, the Legislative Council of a state shall not have more than one-third of the total strength of the State Assembly, and not less than 40 members.
- Like the Rajya Sabha, the legislative council is a continuing chamber, that is, it is a permanent body and is not subject to dissolution. The tenure of a Member of the Legislative Council (MLC) is six years, with one-third of the members retiring every two years.