Speaker compares state legislators with their Meghalaya counterparts
GUWAHATI: Seemingly worried over unworthy debates that are unbecoming of an august House, Assam Assembly Speaker Hitendra Nath Goswami had to draw a comparison between the members of his House and that of its Meghalaya counterpart.
With such a comparison, the Speaker has tried to drive home that unlike the Assam Assembly the Meghalaya Assembly can answer around 20 queries during the Question Hour, apart from some supplementary questions. He, however, has rued the fact that the Assam Assembly can answer barely four/five queries during the Question Hour as its members, as often as not, engage themselves in some unworthy debates that lead them nowhere.
Such a situation was created in the State Assembly on Wednesday when Education Minister Siddhartha Bhattacharjee was replying to a question from Congress MLA Rupjyoti Kurmi. Not satisfied with the minister’s reply on reasons behind lack of an adequate number of teachers and infrastructure in schools in his constituency, Kurmi did raise some moot points, leading to a debate between the two. In the meantime, someone from the Treasury bench taunted the Opposition MLA by uttering some unparliamentary words – literally stirring up the hornets’ nest. Soon the Opposition members started to oppose the taunting and there followed an unruly scene in the House.
Then the Speaker had intervened: “I went to the Meghalaya Assembly that wears a peaceful ambience unlike ours. Proceedings during the Question Hour are very peaceful there. Over 20 questions can be answered there, apart from some supplementary questions. On the contrary, we can hardly answer four/five questions during the Question Hour. This happens because, as often as not, the members engage themselves in unworthy debates over small issues. What we do in the Assembly is watched by the public. We need to respect the august House and create an ambience befitting it. Debate is common in democracy. However, the language of such debates should be polite enough.”