GUWAHATI: In what can be termed as a disturbing development for the Parliamentary democracy, ministers and MLAs of Assam are seemed to have lost interest to actively and sincerely participate in the business of the Assembly during its various sessions.
Such lack of interest of ministers and MLAs is evident even in the ongoing Budget session of the Assam Assembly. On Thursday, four MLAs were absent in the House when the questions raised by them came up during the Question Hour. Reacting to the absence of MLAs, the Speaker Hitendra Nath Goswami said such development is not a healthy sign for a vibrant democracy.
On Wednesday, the business of the Assembly came to a halt temporarily twice in the day as it failed to maintain a quorum. The quorum was achieved after the Speaker summoned the MLAs and ministers to join the business of the House. A quorum is a minimum number of members of a deliberative assembly (a body that uses parliamentary procedure, such as a legislature) necessary to conduct the business of that group. The Assam Assembly needs the presence of at least 21 MLAs including ministers to maintain a quorum.
It has become a common practice for the majority of MLAs to leave the House soon after the Question Hour is over. Many MLAs are seen absent in the House even during discussions on the burning issues of the State. A section of MLAs do not seem to have the patience to listen to answers or responses of the government to their questions raised in the House on behalf of their electorates.
Mudslinging and blame game, another disturbing trend is seen developing fast among members of both the treasury and opposition benches of the Assembly. Whenever an important issue is raised in the House, there is a tendency among a section of ministers and MLAs of the ruling party to blame to the previous governments that often results in creation of unruly scenes in the Assembly by the Opposition MLAs. Concerned at such development the Speaker Goswami has asked the ministers to focus on solving important issues instead of blaming the previous governments. He also asked the Opposition MLAs to develop enough patience to listen instead of just passing comments and shouting all the time.
A former MLA said all seem to be not well within the august House. “The sanctity of the House must be maintained at any cost. All members must show interest, sincerity and will to participate in the business of the Assembly so that the House does not lose relevance before the people,” he said.
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