Cong MLAs walk out for second day, sitting adjourned for 1 hr

Cong MLAs walk out for second day, sitting adjourned for 1 hr

IMPHAL, Feb 6: Noisy scenes and heated altercations marked today’s sitting of the ongoing 4th session of the 11th Manipur Legislative Assembly and the Speaker adjourned the sitting for one hour.
During zero hour, Opposition MLA AK Mirabai stated that the Speaker, instead of giving a comprehensive clarification to a point of order yesterday, was seen clarifying the same matter through media outside the Assembly hall.
She then asked if the Manipur Legislative Assembly’s rules of procedure and conduct of business have any section which allows or vindicates the Speaker to take a matter of the House outside it.
Mirabai remarked that commenting on a matter of the House outside the Assembly hall is against the convention.
Congress MLA K Meghachandra said that a major issue was reflected in the local newspapers, radio and news channels today on the point of order raised yesterday with regard to its relevance to yesterday’s proceedings of the House.
He also noted that local newspapers quoted a particular word ‘condemn’ purportedly used by the Speaker before media.
House leader and Chief Minister N Biren intervened stating that it would be more decent to talk over the matter inside the Speaker’s chamber.
He said, “The Speaker is after all the Speaker”.
Responding to the Chief Minister, K Meghachandra said, “I’m only referring to the newspaper headlines which can harm the dignity of the House. I’m not making any allegation.”
Noting that the irrelevancy of the point of order was also reflected in newspapers, the Speaker asked the Opposition Members to wrap up the matter or come to the chamber if it is very ‘delicate’.
Saying that he had no problem, Meghachandra said that all the Members of the House should uphold the Constitution but the Constitution has been violated by retaining a particular Member who must be disqualified as per the 10th Schedule.
“Even though we filed a disqualification petition, not even congizance was given”, Meghachandra said.
Stating that the matter has been already referred to a proper forum, Speaker Y Khemchand tried to take up agenda no 2.
However, the Congress MLA contended that justice has been denied as it has been delayed and there is a Constitutional crisis in the State.
Nonetheless, the Speaker overruled the argument and took up the next agenda.
As the Speaker took up the next agenda, MLA Md Abdul Nasir sought half an hour’s time to discuss the same agenda.
In the meantime, heated altercations broke out the ruling bench and the Opposition bench which compelled the Speaker to adjourn the sitting for one hour.
At around 1.05 pm, the sitting resumed as the Speaker took up the next agenda. However, all Congress MLAs except those who support BJP walked out of the House demanding the Speaker to withdraw the words ‘I condemn’ and contending that they would not attend the sitting if the Speaker does not initiate disqualification proceedings.
As the Opposition Members started walking out, the Chief Minister asserted that as per Rule 344 no Member has the right to argue or question the Speaker’s decisions.
He maintained that there is no harm if the Opposition Members do not want to attend the sitting.

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