Opposition Congress gears up for making session stormy
IMPHAL Mar 20
If the proceedings of the first day of the first session of 11th Manipur Legislative Assembly are any indication the Opposition Congress is not going to make things easier for the BJP led ruling conglomerate inside the House.
The Congress with a strong force of 27 raised objections to several issues whenever they get the opportunity. The issues range from sitting arrangement, non-distribution of papers to the members and addressing a lady member “wrongly.”
The first objection was raised by K. Meghachandra for allowing two big shots of the BJP to take chairs in the officers’ gallery.
Shortly after the session began BJP national general secretary and Manipur in-charge Prahlad Singh Patel and state unit president K Bhavananda entered the officer’s gallery and occupied the seats in the second row. Finally they came up and took the front row.
As soon as the pro tem Speaker V Hangkhalian rejected a petition by Y Surchandra seeking Th Shyamkumar’s disqualification under 10th Schedule of the Constitution Congress member K Meghachandra Singh rose and raised a strong protest against allowing the two BJP members’ present in the officers’ gallery.
The officers’ gallery is located on the right side of the Speaker’s podium. Normally top level officials including chief secretary and director general of police occupy these seats to observe and record commitments given by ministers to the members and also provide information to the ministers during deliberations.
Mentioning the name of Bhabananda, Meghachandra wanted to know the provisions under which the two were allowed to be there.
In his response pro tem Speaker V Hangkhalian ruled that the duo were invitees of the governor and the seats taken by them were meant for invitees.
Supporting Meghachandra former Speaker Th Lokeshwar Singh demanded that the particular rule be produced.
This was followed by another protest from N Loken Singh during the proceedings for election of the new Speaker.
When the pro tem Speaker called his name to propose Congress candidate K Govindas for the Speaker’s post Loken stood up to read out his proposal. For a few minutes he searched for his name among the list of proposers and found that one page which included his name was missing from among the papers provided by the Assembly secretariat.
Somehow Loken made the proposal. However, he took strong exception to what he termed as “negligence” of the Assembly.
Akoijam Mirabai Devi also expressed her anger when she found her name in the list of proposers as “Shrimati” Ak Mirabai Devi. “I want to make a correction. I am not Shrimati,” she said.
Congress members foiled an attempt by the Speaker to move for passing report of the business advisory committee without making the report available to all the members.
Leader of the House N Biren Singh attempted to read out the report. However, Congress members persisted that the report be made available first before passing it. The Opposition even demanded an adjournment of the House to give enough time to the assembly officials to distribute the report. The report was finally passed after it was distributed.