WB cabinet approves Mamata's poll promise of forming legislative council

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Kolkata, May 17 (PTI) The West Bengal cabinet on Monday approved one of Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee's election promises of creating the Legislative Council in the state to accommodate senior leaders who were excluded from the party candidates list in the just-concluded elections primarily due to their age.

West Bengal at present has a 294-member legislative assembly but there is no upper house in the state.

'The cabinet today cleared a proposal for creation of the Vidhan Parishad. This will now be sent to the Governor and after his approval it will go to the state assembly for necessary approval,' an official said.

As per the constitutional provision, to create or to abolish a state legislative council, the state legislative assembly must pass a resolution, which must be supported by majority of the strength of the house and 2/3rd majority of the present and voting.

It must be mentioned that seven states including Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Telangana, Maharashtra, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh have bicameral legislature.

Only a few ministers were presernt in the cabinet meeting, the second of the new TMC government formed on May 10, due to complete lockdown in the state to rein in coronavirus surge.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee attended the cabinet meeting virtually from the CBI office where she spent hours during the day to protest arrest of two of her key cabinet members.

The TMC supremo during selection of candidates for the state polls had omitted names of severely elderly legislators and promised to accomodate them as members of the legislative council.

In some other important decisions, the cabinet gave its nod to formulate a detailed policy for recruitment of youths in different state departments.

It also approved setting up satellite centres at different hospitals religiously treating COVID patients in the state.

Besides chief secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay and other senior officials of the state government only eight ministers including -- industry minister Partha Chatterjee, Power minister Aroop Biswas and others were present at the cabinet meeting held at Nabanna Sabhaghar on Monday. PTI SCH SNS SNS

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