Impressive shows from young MLAs
Rise of the young brigade
It is encouraging to note young MLAs from the Opposition bench, read Congress MLAs, raising significant questions to the Treasury bench, prompting Chief Minister N Biren to ‘personally receive the questions and give the answers’. This is what has made the ongoing Assembly session all that more interesting and significant to the people. Significant to note too that the Congress is not depending only on one personality to grill the Government on issues which are of significance to the people but on a set of young MLAs who have started making their presence felt in the Assembly and this is what is important. No star performer like the veteran O Joy, who in his days was referred to as Opposition Joy for bringing life to Assembly sessions with his sharp takes on so many important issues of those days and with his vast knowledge on the proceedings of the Assembly. This is about the past, and fortunately today in the Congress, Manipur has a number of young MLAs delivering impressive performance in the Assembly which will definitely go down well with the one time, one man performer O Joy. Not very well versed in Meiteilon, but making an effect is definitely the young and first time Congress MLA from Ukhrul Assembly Constituency Alfred Kanngam Arthur, who had the sincerity and conviction to ask the Treasury why the State Government has not questioned the Centre on the stage of the ongoing political dialogue between the NSCN (IM) and the Government of India. The State Government is not part of the ongoing dialogue, but definitely it should be within its right to ask the Centre on how the peace talk is progressing for the threat perception that hangs over Manipur cannot be brushed aside with the wave of the hand. The young MLA from Ukhrul AC was at his elements again when he pointed out that police stations in the hill districts are ill equipped and hence are not in a position to carry out its duties effectively. This is not only about far flung places, but everyone knows whose writ runs large even in a district headquarters like Ukhrul.
Having fought the 2017 Assembly election as a Congress candidate the MLA from Ukhrul must know what he is talking about when he touched on how the police force functions in the hill districts. Another first time, young Congress MLA who has been making his presence felt in the Assembly is obviously O Surjakumar representing Khangabok AC. The proposal was turned down, but significant to note that the first time MLA from Khangabok AC deemed it fit to propose a House Committee to verify the total liability of Rs 514 crore submitted for works carried out under the MGNREGS. Not only this, the young Congress MLA also raised a cut motion while discussion on the Transport Department was on in the Assembly. It was the cut motion raised by the young MLA that prompted Chief Minister N Biren to assure that a new regulation on passenger fare will be notified soon. Timely move from Surjakumar, if one takes into consideration the fact that it was only some days back that student organisations had raised a cry against the hike in passenger fare and how private taxi service had to call off their service in Churachandpur, following protest from student bodies. This is about two first time young MLAs who have made a mark in the Assembly but the others too have not been lagging behind with K Meghachandra raising a very significant question on what the Government plans to do with thousands who have returned home after chucking up their jobs in different cities of India, during the Covid pandemic. Encouraging to see young MLAs from the Opposition doing their homework and raising questions which are of importance to the people. This is what is expected from the Opposition.