On March 20, the Rajya Sabha passed the AP Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2015 to increase the number of members in the Andhra Pradesh State Legislative Council from the existing 50 to 58.
But the reason why an amendment had to be moved to the 2014 law that split Andhra Pradesh is totally unbelievable--someone did very poor math and nobody thought it necessary to cross check!
The Constitution restricts the members of the Council to one-third of those in the Assembly. Andhra Pradesh was left with 175 members in the Assembly after the split. But the UPA government and its officers who drafted the law calculated 1/3rd of 175 to be 50. It is 58.
Venkaiah Naidu, minister of parliamentary affairs, couldn’t resist making a jibe when the amendment correcting the drafting error passed in the Lok Sabha on March 17.
"But the great people who drafted that Bill, they counted in such a manner because of their extra intelligence that one-third of 175 as 50. We are now trying to correct that. This is a simple legislation. 175 and one-third of it is not 50 but it will be 58. That is the simple amendment which we have brought before the House," said Naidu.
"It is good that the Modi-NDA Government has taken the initiative to enhance the number of MLCs in the Legislative Council of Andhra Pradesh from 50 to 58 through the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Amendment Bill, 2015. However, I wonder why the same sense of urgency is not seen in fulfilling other key commitments made to the people of Andhra Pradesh," Sonia Gandhi, president of the Congress Party, said earlier in the debate.
"They have, after all, been waiting now for the last nine months," she said.