From a Correspondent
ITAGAR, March 17: In a ‘fresh’ development, the Opposition People’s Party of Aruchal (PPA) requested the State Assembly Speaker T Norbu Thongdok to institute a high level inquiry into the reported incident of switching off the mikes of the Opposition members in the House on March 12 last during the presentation of the Budget estimates for the fincial year 2018-19.
The PPA also pleaded with the Speaker to find out who, in the House administration, colluded with the Pema Khandu Government “to silence the truth from being heard by the press and the public”.
“Simultaneously, this issue may also be referred to the Committee of Privileges for inquiry and expeditious report before the House adjourns sine die for the current session,” read the letter, addressed to Speaker, signed by Opposition leader Takam Pario and senior member Tanga Byaling.
On March 12, the Opposition members led by Pario stormed into the well of the House and engaged in debating and shouting, demanding Chief Minister Pema Khandu and his deputy Chow Mein to give a ‘clarification’ on the Smart Class project as reflected in last year’s Budget, prior to presenting the Budget for 2018-19.
As the din continued for about half-an-hour, the Speaker had to adjourn the House for 10 minutes before asking the Chief Minister to give a statement on the issue.
The Opposition contended that the state government had entered into an agreement with a firm Educatiol Consultants India Limited (EdCIL) by signing an MoU for implementation of 1500 Smart classrooms in secondary and higher secondary schools in the state on the day of presentation of Budget proposals (on March 10, 2017) itself for which Rs 30 crore was earmarked under the Chief Minister’s Adhunik Shiksha Yoja.
It had accused the government of ‘misleading’ the House.
“During the course of our expression of free speech, we found, to our dismay, that our mikes were switched off and we could not adequately express ourselves on the floor thereby grossly violating the fundamental privileges guaranteed to us under the Constitution of India,” the letter said.
“Besides this, the bofide duties of the Opposition to expose corruption on the poor of the House were also obstructed. This also evidences the collusion of those vested with powers to conduct the business of the House and the corrupt administration under the present Chief Minister,” alleged the PPA leaders’ duo in their complaint letter.