By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, June 1: Two-time BJP MLA from Sorbhog Ranjit Kumar Das was on Wednesday unimously elected as the Speaker of Assam Assembly.
The election was conducted immediately after newly elected MLAs took oath on the first day of the first session of the 14th Assam Assembly.
Das, while thanking the legislators for electing him unimously, pledged to play a neutral role while running the affairs of the House.
“If I am not able to give the Opposition enough opportunity to air their problems and grievances, I will not be successful as a Speaker. I will ensure that all the MLAs are able to put forth the aspirations of the people of their respective constituencies. There is a mixture of youth and experience in this newly-elected Assembly. We all should think of Greater Assam,” he said.
Chief Minister Sarbanda Sonowal described the new Speaker as a man of “vast experience.”
“We hope he will give equal importance to all legislators and work for the greater interest of the State,” he said.
Senior minister Himanta Biswa Sarma thanked the people of Sorbhog for sending Das to the Assembly. He also hoped that the Speaker will give equal opportunity to every legislator to air their problems.
Former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said he had seen honesty, simplicity and commitment in Das when he was a legislator. “We have full faith in him that he will be able to run the House smoothly,” Gogoi said.
Opposition leader Debabrat Saikia assured the new Speaker cooperation on behalf of the Opposition MLAs and exuded confidence that he will conduct the business of the House successfully.
Others who spoke in the House and congratulated the Speaker include ministers Atul Bora, Pramila Rani Brahma, PK Mahanta, Brindaban Goswami, former Speaker Prab Kumar Gogoi, Ajanta Neog, Kamal Sing rzary, Hafiz Baseer Ahmed Qasimi, Rabiram rzary and Bhuban Pegu.
Later, Speaker Ranjit Das told jourlists he will come to the Assembly from his quarter on foot to avoid inconvenience to the public caused by convoys.
He also said he would give thrust on detailed replies by ministers to questions put by legislators.
“Nowadays, we also get information through RTI. If the same replies are given in the assembly there would not be any difference,” he said.
The Speaker said he would examine if a Parliament-type model be put in place to ensure that TV channels get feeds of the entire proceedings, and not just of the Question Hour. “Maybe Doordarshan can record the proceedings and provide it to channels like it is done in Parliament,” he said.