Odisha Assembly passes Legislative Council resolution

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Bhubaneswar : The Odisha Assembly on Thursday passed a resolution for setting up a legislative council in the state.

Members of Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party staged a walkout opposing the resolution introduced by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Bikram Keshari Arukh.

All ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) members present in the House voted in favour of the resolution.

Speaker P.K. Amat announced that the resolution was passed as it got the support of 104 of the 147 members of the Assembly.

"Odisha has picked up growth momentum...to further accelerate growth wider consultations are necessary. The legislative council will be of great help," said the Chief Minister.

Congress chief whip Taraprasad Bahinipati told the media that while the state's poor are in a precarious condition, the ruling party has passed the resolution to rehabilitate its disgruntled leaders in the council.

BJP member Rabi Naik said the move is aimed to pacify the wrangling in the party at the cost of dwindling state economy.

The state cabinet had recently approved a legislative council for the state with 49 members. About Rs 35 crore will be spent per year for the council.

Thursday's resolution will be sent to the Centre for approval of Parliament, said sources.