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Mamata sets up panel on Legislative Council

Special Correspondent

Kolkata: A 15-member House Committee comprising members of the ruling coalition as well as the Opposition was constituted here on Wednesday to discuss the proposed Legislative Council for West Bengal on which a resolution was moved by the State Government in the Assembly on Tuesday.

The proposal to revive the West Bengal Legislative Council after 42 years was referred to the Committee for further discussions following reservations expressed by the Opposition.

Participating in the two-hour debate, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that although she did not agree with the points raised by the Opposition against the formation of the Committee, she would like the resolution to be referred to a select committee where further discussions could be held.

The Committee would be headed by Partha Chatterjee and would comprise 10 members of the Assembly from the Trinamool Congress and the Indian National Congress and the rest from the Opposition. Leader of the Opposition Surjya Kanta Mishra and some of his party colleagues are on the committee, which is slated to submit its report within six weeks.

The Committee was formed after discussions with the Speaker Biman Banerjee on Wednesday.

Ms. Banerjee said on Tuesday that the Committee was proposed to be formed “to give voice to those people who are never given a hearing and to address their areas of concern.” This was a pre-poll commitment made by the party, she said.

In his speech, Mr. Mishra said although a bicameral legislature was good at the national level there was no need for it at the State-level. “It will only add to costs and delay law-making,” he said.

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