Cong demands discussion on present unrest
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, February 28 2024: Opposition Congress MLAs have accused the ruling party of bulldozing the proposal raised under Rule 269 to amend the report of the Business Advisory Committee (BAC) and set at least a day aside to discuss only the issue besieging Manipur since May 3 last year.

The proposal to amend the time allocation of BAC was raised by Congress MLA Thokchom Lokeshwar under Rule 269 while the leader of the House Chief Minister Singh was moving the sixth report of the BAC.

Another Congress MLA Keisham Meghachandra of Wangkhem Constituency also proposed that the Assembly session can be extended by a day to discuss the almost 10 month old violence in Manipur by all members of the House and possibly work out a solution.

Speaker of Manipur Legislative Assembly Thokchom Satyabrata said that the proposal of the Opposition MLAs can be discussed by convening a meeting of the BAC and there is also short duration discussion left.

Lokeshwar however argued 'how there can be further discussion on BAC if the same has been approved' .

He also said that the Congress MLAs won't raise any objection if the Assembly session is extended by one more day to discuss Manipur violence.

To the matter raised by the Congress MLAs, Chief Minister N Biren Singh said that the violence in Manipur can be discussed during calling attention, general discussion and other businesses during the Assembly session.

He said that the report of the BAC was taken by all parties while accusing the Opposition MLAs of trying to disrupt the proceedings of the House.

Congress MLA K Meghachandra, on the other hand, contended that there is no mention of holding general discussion on the unrest in Manipur in the BAC report.

When the Speaker asked whether the BAC report should be approved by the House, the ruling MLAs said yes, following which other agenda of the business were taken up.

The Opposition MLAs, however, continued to raise the proposal to amend the BAC report while the Chief Minister was giving a statement on the Budget Estimate.

The last agenda moved by the CM was motion for Vote on Account and the same was approved by the House.

After a while, Congress MLA of Sugnu Constituency K Ranjit drew the attention of the House and tabled the report of the Privilege and Ethics Committee of the Assembly taken against the 10 Kuki MLAs.

The Chief Minister disrupted K Ranjit by stating that there is time to discuss Manipur violence but matters which are not part of today's agenda shouldn't be raised.

The Chief Minister then requested the Speaker to make sure no member of the House raise any matter which is not a part of the agenda as the same cannot be answered.

The first session was then adjourned by the Speaker till 11 am of Thursday as there wasn't any agenda left to discuss for the day.

Speaking to the media in front of the Assembly gate after the first sitting, the Congress party said that the ruling MLAs didn't give them the time to hold discussion on Manipur violence.

On behalf of all Congress MLAs, K Ranjit said that it seems like the ruling party doesn't want to hold discussion on the unrest in Manipur.

Saying that the prestige of all legislators including the Chief Minister have been disgraced by the situation in Manipur, K Ranjit maintained that it would be right to discuss what can be done to the 10 Kuki MLAs who are also members of the House.

He also said that the 10 Kuki MLAs should take full responsibility for everything that has been happening in the course of the violence as it is them who worsened the situation by demanding bifurcation of Manipur despite taking an oath under the Constitution to protect the State.

K Ranjit went on to state he doesn't see the report of Privilege and Ethics Committee taking action against the 10 Kuki MLAs in the list of agenda.

People may think that there will be time to discuss Manipur violence during the session which will have five sittings but as per rule only two members of the House can attend even if calling attention is raised and only two calling attentions can be discussed in a day, he said and added that there may not even be time to hold discussion on the popular demands to scrap the Suspension of Operation (SoO) pact and update National Register of Citizens during the session.

Claiming that the Assembly was called to extend the SoO agreement with Kuki militants by colluding with the Centre, the Congress MLA asked why the Government didn't summon the Assembly a day or two earlier to discuss the pressing issues of the State.

He went on to state that the ruling party not even listening properly to the proposal to discuss Manipur violence was against the interest of the people.

K Meghachandra, on the other hand, said that the aspiration of the people to discuss Manipur violence cannot take place if the same is not included in the BAC report tabled in the House and as such Congress party demanded amendment of it.

Saying that the Congress sought extension of the Assembly session by a day so that the members of House can discuss what people want, he added that the ruling party unfortunately bulldozed the proposal of the Congress party.

He continued that none of 10 Kuki MLAs attended the session and the State has been made lawless by sanctioning money for the departments whose in-charge are two Kuki Ministers Letpao Haokip and Nemcha Kipgen.

Lokeshwar said that the proposal he moved to amend the BAC report was raised so there must be discussion on it in the House.

The BAC report must be approved by holding voice vote or some other votes as there is a proposal to amend it but Rule 269 of the House has been bulldozed by the Speaker, he rued.

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