Imphal: Manipur Congress party has raised questions to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government over the banning of live streaming of the assembly proceedings during the state legislative assembly session on Monday.
The special one-day session will decide the fate of the BJP-led coalition government as chief minister N Biren Singh to move a confidence motion to establish the numbers in his favours.
Speaking on the issue on banning of the live streaming session on the television unlike previous other sessions, Congress spokesperson Ningombam Bupenda Meitei said, “We, from the Congress party, want to raise serious issues on drugs crimes, Covid-19 pandemic and extension of a number of sittings in the monsoon assembly session of Manipur Legislative Assembly, and want the people to see our debate live on TV.”
As per reports, Congress had earlier requested demanded to extend the session for at least two to three days to discuss the issues at length, especially health crisis as the state is experiencing the possibility of community transmission of COVID-19. However, the government refused the proposal.
Bupenda further alleged that people in the state are prevented from watching assembly proceedings live on TV while their elected representatives are discussing the prevalent issues, including the COVID-19 pandemic and crime on drugs.
Earlier, the public broadcaster Doordarshan is allowed to streamline the session on live TV, however, as per reports, Speaker Yumnam Khemchand had announced for no live coverage during the special one-day session.
The Congress spokesman further stated that even DD live streaming of today’s trust vote is already banned.
How can the people of Manipur be prevented from watching assembly session live on TV in 2020? And why should not the people be allowed to watch the live proceedings in a democracy? Bupenda questioned.
He also further questions the sanctity of the democracy in the state saying why should the debates in the temple of democracy be kept hidden from the public’s live view?
Is this our democracy that the people can’t watch what their elected representatives do and vote in the assembly? If the people can’t see, who will see in a democracy? he added.
Both the BJP and the Opposition Congress party have issued whips to their respective party members to be present in the Assembly and vote as per their party’s line.
At present, of the 53 members out of the 60-member House, the Congress has 24 MLAs and the N Biren Singh-led government has 29 MLAs, including the Speaker, 18 BJP MLAs, four MLAs each from National People’s Party (NPP) and Naga People’s Front (NPF), one each from Trinamool Congress (TMC) and Lok Janshakti Party and an Independent MLA.