Bhubaneswar: Odisha moved  one step towards formation of a Vidhan Parisad as the state Assembly Thursday  passed a resolution for setting up the Legislative Council in the state.

Amidst walkout by the opposition Congress and BJP members, 104 ruling BJD members cast their votes in favour of the resolution. BJD has 117 members in the 147-member state assembly.

Casting his vote first, the chief minister Naveen Patanik said, “Odisha has picked up growth momentum and to further accelerate growth, wider consultations are necessary. In this context legislative council will be of great help.”

However, the opposition alleged that the state government’s move for establishment of a Legislative Council, had intention to “rehabilitate” the ruling BJD leaders. They walked out of the House in protest.

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

BJP legislature party leader K V Singhdeo said, “There was no need to set up a legislative council in Odisha keeping the state’s population in mind as big states like Madhya Pradesh has no such legislative council.” The Odisha Vidhan Parisad will have 49 members. About Rs 35 crore will be spent per year for the council.

According to parliamentary affairs minister B K Arukha the proposed council will have 49 members and one-third (16) of the council will be elected by the states MLAs, another 1/3rd (16) by sitting members of local governments such as municipalities and Zilla Parishads, 1/12th (4) by an electorate of teachers and another 1/12th (4) by registered graduates. The remaining nine members will be appointed by the Governor for distinguished services in various fields.

The Legislative Council will function as a permanent house and its two-third members of will retire on every two years. The minister said that the council will function from Sardar Patel hall in Unit-II area.