Opposition breaks silence, session 'resumes'
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, July 28: With the Speaker managing to broker a truce with the Opposition members after the morning session of the Assembly today, the Opposition members took to the Assembly without their gags paving the way for discussion and debates in the evening session which began from 2 pm.

Mention may be made here that the Opposition had staged a walk out from the Assembly during the evening session on July 24 protesting the conduct of the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker.

The following day, on July 25, the Opposition members attended the session with their mouths gagged and the day's session had to be winded up barely 17 minutes into the session as the Opposition refused.

to take part in the discussion of the day's proceedings.

The morning session today also went the way of the July 25 session as the Opposition members trooped into the House with their mouths gagged.

The morning session wound up without any discussion.

Chief Minister O Ibobi expressed deep regret over the silence maintained by the Opposition and suggested that a 10 minute break be taken so that the differences may be talked over either at the chamber of the Speaker or the Opposition's room.

Fully concurring with the suggestions of the chief Minister, Speaker TN Haokip appealed to the Opposition to reconsider their stand and announced a 10 minute break.

However as the differences could not be ironed out within 10 minutes, the session was adjourned till 2 pm.

Senior Opposition leaders including, O Joy, Dr Nimaichand Luwang, Y Erabot, M Nilachandra and the Chief Minister sat and talked over the matter at the Speaker's chamber where the deadlock was solved.

With the matter resolved, the evening session resumed normally.

Speaker TN Haokip expressed regret over the development and gave a brief report of the talk that was held at his chamber.

The Speaker said that it was agreed that any MLA who raises a question will be allowed to ask two supplementary questions and nothing more.

If the matter is contentious then a senior member of the Opposition will take over to proceed with the matter at hand, he added.

The meeting also agreed that no matter occurring within 24 hours and no matter concerning private interest would be allowed during zero hour said the Speaker.

During question hour and discussion, four FPM MLAs two BJP MLAs, one MPP MLA and either Y Erabot or Vivek Raj should be allowed to represent their respective parties, further said TN Haokip.

It was also agreed in principle that the Opposition members would be granted 10 minutes to address the House, said the Speaker but however added that if the matter is serious the time limit may be relaxed by a few minutes.

Ministers and members of the ruling bench have also agreed that they would give only substantive answers and not beat around the bush.

According to the nature of the issue, the time limit to be given to each Minister will be 20 or 30 minutes.

It was also agreed that only one call attention motion would be raised in the interest of all, said the Speaker.

The Minister concerned should also give a brief but clear answer to the motion raised and one or two more questions may be raised to clarify any points.

Unparliamentary language by any member including the Speaker is also a strict no-no, said TN Haokip and appealed to all the Opposition members to desist from unparliamentary language inside the House.