Aizawl: Hundreds of Mizoram Congress workers on Wednesday staged a demonstration in front of the state assembly to prevent law minister T.J. Lalnuntluanga from attending the budget session.
The party has sought an apology from the minister for allegedly showing “rude” behaviour to senior Congress leader and legislator C. Ngunlianchunga in the assembly house and legislators’ restroom.
Congress legislators also staged a walk-out from the house on the last day of the budget session in protest against “unruly behaviour” of Lalnuntluanga, who also holds parliamentary affairs, transport and environment, forest and climate change portfolios.
Ngunlianchunga was absent from the house as he had flown to his constituency due to unavoidable personal reason.
Both Nugnlianchunga and Lalnuntluanga had engaged in a heated argument during a discussion on budget on Monday.
Congress alleged that besides passing abusive remarks to the Congress legislator, the law minister had also intended to physically attack him outside the assembly house on Monday.
On Tuesday, Congress had demanded that the law minister should apologise to the Congress legislator and also tender a public apology, failing which it will take necessary action.
Although Lalnuntlanga had reportedly tendered a written apology to Ngunglianchunga on Tuesday, a copy of which was widely circulated on various social media platforms, the Congress party argued that the law minister did not apologise for the incident that took place outside the house and that the law minister’s signature appeared to be “forged” as it was not similar to his signature given on his affidavit papers before the assembly polls in 2018.
For some time the protesters clashed with police when they barricaded the assembly house to prevent the minister from attending the budget session.
However, no further untoward incident and casualty was reported during the demonstration.
Several Congress leaders also spoke during the demonstration and blamed the law minister for his unruly behaviour.
They said that the minister should be taught a lesson.
Former transport minister and senior Congress leader John Rotluangliana alleged that the ruling Mizo National Front (MNF) legislators are living a luxurious life despite the state reeling under acute financial crisis.
He further alleged that people are being impoverished due to fiscal mismanagement under the MNF rule.
MNF sources said that the matter was settled when senior MNF leaders and legislators visited Ngunlianchunga on Wednesday.
The ruling MNF has 27 MLAs in the 40-member assembly, main opposition Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM)-6, Congress-5 and BJP -1.
Serchhip seat is lying vacant as the incumbent MLA Lalduhoma (independent) was disqualified under anti-defection law in November last year.
The bypoll to Serchhip seat will be held on April 17.