Kohima: Nagaland leader of Opposition TR Zeliang on Saturday sought the intervention of the governor to extend the business session of the forthcoming Assembly session for three days as against the proposed one-day session on August 13.
In a letter addressed to the governor, Zeliang said that “on the pretext of implementing COVID-19 measures, the present day government cannot continue to make democratic practices a mockery”.
As the Naga political issue has “arrived at a crucial stage” after 23 years of political dialogue, he said that the concerned stakeholders, particularly the Nagaland Legislative Assembly (NLA), need to generate space for deliberation on the matter.
The legislator recalled that during his tenure as the chief minister, the Naga political issue was discussed for two consecutive days in the NLA on July 23 and 24 in 2015. “More than ever, the issue has grown more significant today and the same ought to find room for discussion on the floor of the NLA,” Zeliang wrote.
Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, as Nagaland has so far reported 1,693 positive cases and six deaths so far, the leader of opposition said that it is only appropriate to set aside enough time for discussion on the matter on the floor of the Assembly.
He also said that the SARFAESI Act, 2002 is equally important and that the NLA cannot continue to ignore the matter unlike the fifth session of the Assembly when the matter was dismissed from being discussed even after the same was finalized by the Business Advisory Committee (BAC).
The leader of opposition sought the extension of business session to three days, with a day each assigned to discuss on each of the aforementioned issue of public importance.
While the date of commencement and the number of days for Assembly sessions should be chosen at the convenience of the Speaker and the Leader of the House, he said that the same privilege cannot act as a license to “construe duration of Assembly Sessions according to their personal suitability”.
He said that it is evident that the culpability of holding a one-day Session has been shifted to the Raj Bhavan through a Bulletin Part-II vide No.AS/LEG-36/2020 issued on July 29 by the Assembly Secretariat which said that the Governor “indicated” August 13 for the sixth session. He said that it implies a one-day session for the reason that most of the MLAs will move to various Administrative HQs on August 14 for hoisting the National Flag on Independence Day.
Saying that the dignity of the NLA and its democratic principles cannot continue to be abused by the present day Government, he sought the intervention of the governor to re-examine the matter with utmost urgency and to convene the 6th Session from August 11 to 13 for a period of three days.
He also sought the deferment of the Session to a day after August 15 or prepone the same in order to accommodate at least three days Session, or to commence the session on August 13 as scheduled and adjourn the House without sine die and resume for another 2 days after August 15 (post recess).
Zeliang said that the extension proposal for the 6th Session was made before the Speaker but was left unattended. He said that the present situation may not be conducive for holding normal Assembly Session at this juncture since the State including its Capital, Kohima is reeling under immense pressure due to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent imposition of total-lockdown by the State Government. However, a one-day Session is not adequate by all means, he said further appealing the governor to issue necessary direction for a favourable dispensation.
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