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Guwahati: The Assam Assembly Speaker’s word of caution to a Congress MLA over risk of facing disqualification from his party for remaining in the House after a walk out by the opposition party led to noisy scenes on Wednesday.

Following it, Speaker Biswajit Daimary had to clarify that his words were only to alert the Congress legislator of the rules so that he may not violate it unknowingly.

The Congress lawmakers had staged the walk out during Question Hour on Wednesday over reduction of time for supplementary queries.

However, some of its MLAs returned immediately afterwards and a question listed by one of them, Diganta Barman, came up for reply.

Before Barman could rise to place his question, the speaker said it was his responsibility to inform the House that if any MLA participates in the proceedings while his or her party was abstaining from it, the member could face disqualification notice from the party.

“Assamese people do not take rules seriously but I have to run the House as per rules. And a MLA can face disqualification notice for not abiding by the party’s decision. I think it is my duty to point this out to the honourable member,” Daimary said.

The other Congress MLAs who were at the lobby beside the House chamber at that time immediately rushed in and claimed that they had decided to listen to the proceedings from outside as they were not being allowed to raise any supplementary questions.

Only those members who had questions listed against their name had re-entered the House, they said.

State Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pijush Hazarika defending the speaker said he was playing a ‘positive role’.

Daimary said that he is currently hearing three disqualification notices from the Congress against its MLAs and therefore thought it prudent to caution the opposition party’s lawmakers about any activity that may attract action against any of them.

Raking up the matter after Question Hour, deputy leader of Opposition and Congress MLA Rakibul Hussain said the speaker’s words have “hurt” his party.

“We are deeply saddened at the words coming from the Chair that a member of Congress can face problems,” he said.

Seeking to clarify his stance yet again, the speaker said, “I am just like any of you. I have to run the House as per rules.

“My statement on the disqualification notice was addressed to the House. And to Barman was only whether he wanted to raise the question or not,” Daimary added.

Also read | Assam: Oppn protests against time cap for supplementary questions in assembly

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