* Opposition stages walkout
GUWAHATI: The Assam Assembly, on Monday, witnessed a ruckus after Speaker Biswajit Daimary disallowed an 'Adjournment Motion' on the issue of price rise petrol, diesel and other essential commodities.
Legislators of the Congress, AIUDF and CPI (M) had earlier submitted three notices to the Speaker seeking permission to bring the 'Adjournment Motion'. However, Speaker Daimary said that even though he has received the notices, he cannot allow the 'Adjournment Motion' on the rise in prices of petrol and diesel. He said that the price of fuel is not determined by the State Government, it is a subject under the jurisdiction of the Centre.
Reacting sharply to the Speaker's statement, Congress MLA Rockybul Hussain urged the former to first hear the admissibility of the 'Adjournment Motion'. He also said that it has been a tradition in the House to hear admissibility of such a motion.
But remaining firm in his decision, Daimary said that the Speaker could take some decisions on his own. The Speaker's words further agitated the Opposition MLAs; and there were heated exchanges of words.
Intervening on the issue, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that there might have been a tradition of discussing admissibility of 'Adjournment Motion'. "But, there is no rule to discuss the same," added Sarma.
Responding to the Chief Minister's statement, the Opposition MLAs argued that through hearing of admissibility of the 'Adjournment Motion' they wanted to highlight the public importance of the issue. At this, the CM said that there could be a tradition but there is no rule. "But we must preserve the right of the Opposition," Sarma said.
The Speaker said that there is a difference between tradition and rule in conducting the Assembly session. "If the House wants the discussion on admissibility, let there be," Daimary said.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pijush Hazarika said that since the State Government is not involved on the issue of price rise of petrol and diesel, it cannot discuss the same. He further said that the Opposition "would get various devices to raise and discuss of price rise of other commodities during the Budget session of the Assembly".
Heated exchanges of words between the Opposition and Ruling benches continued. Finally, the Opposition MLAs staged a walkout.
Later, Minister Hazarika told reporters outside the Assembly that the prices of petrol and diesel in Assam are lower than the Congress-ruled States in the country. "Let the Congress-ruled States decrease the fuel prices first," he said.