CM belittles walk out by opposition

STAFF REPORTER IMPHAL, 6th Feb: 
With opposition MLAs walking out of the House during the 4th session of the 11th Manipur Legislative Assembly’s for the second consecutive day, chief minister N Biren, who is also the leader of the House, has stated the opposition MLAs are free to walk out of the house on their own will since it is a democratic state and that there is no issue at all.

Reacting to the news report published Tuesday with regard to clarification made by Speaker Khemchand in connection with the matter raised by opposition MLA Ak Mirabai on the floor of the house on Monday, MLA Mirabai informed the House on Tuesday that instead of clarifying in the house, the Speaker conducted a press conference and clarified it through the media.

She urged the Speaker to clarify under which rules of Assembly procedure is it mentioned that the matter of the proceedings of the house should be clarified outside the house through media.

She also informed the house that turning of the mike of the member of a house while she is speaking hurts the privilege of the member. As such, the Speaker should advise all concerned not to repeat such incidents in future.

Taking advantage of the discussion during zero hour, opposition MLA K Meghachandra also pointed out that the clarification made by the Speaker over the point of order brought up by AK Mirabai has been published as headline news in most local dailies which is in fact akin to tarnishing the image of the members. Though it is not exactly known whether the Speaker had actually made the clarification or the reports were misleading, yet if the news is true and the Speaker had actually made the statements, then it hurts the dignity of the house.

Expressing disappointment over the non-compliance of the constitutional provisions by the leaders of the state government, he further said that if the leaders do not follow the Constitution, there would literally be no one to follow.

Intervening the motion raised by the opposition MLA, chief minister N Biren said that it was not proper to discuss the issues of the Speaker on in the house. If at all there is any problem, it would be better to have a talk with the Speaker at his office chamber separately. Open allegations to the Speaker should not be made at all, he said.

The Speaker while reiterating his stand that the matter brought up on the floor by an opposition MLA was not a point of order, said that was not necessary to discuss the matter again in the house. If at all the matter is delicate, it can be discussed in his chamber, he added.

MLA Meghachandra went on to inform the house that it is the duty of the members of the House to obey the Constitution.

The matter came up as the Speaker of the House failed to follow the Constitution of India with regard to the demand for disqualifying a member who is totally fit to be disqualified under the 10th Schedule of the Constitution. Even the appeal to disqualify the said MLA has not yet been given cognizance by the Speaker.

To this, the Speaker responded that the matter need not be discussed on the floor of the house since it has already proceeded through other proper forum and. Nevertheless, MLA Meghachandra went on to say that the state is now facing a constitutional crisis and there is no need for the opposition MLAs to further stay in the house.

Other opposition MLAs also joined in and there was total chaos in the house. As such the house was adjourned for one hour by the Speaker.

Immediately after the house resumed its session, the Speaker told the members not to bring up any issue which is not in the interest of the public and the state. At that point, MLA Meghachandra stood up and said that the press briefing conducted by the Speaker was an act that affected the privilege of the members.

Leader of the House chief minister N Biren then asked the opposition MLAs not to level allegations against the Speaker and there were exchange of words among the ruling and the opposition. Finally as the opposition MLAs began to walk out of the house saying that there was no point staying, chief minister N Biren said that they are free to walk out of the house since it is a democratic state and that there is no issue as such.

Except for opposition MLAs Y Surchandra, O Lukhoi, S Bira and P Brojen, all other opposition MLAs walked out of the house one after another.


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