A file image of the Nagaland Legislative Assembly session

Kohima: Just a day ahead of the sixth session of the 13th Nagaland Legislative Assembly (NLA), opposition party — Naga People’s Front (NPF) — has announced its decision to boycott the one-day session scheduled on August 13 to “protect democratic practices and to maintain the sanctity of the NLA”.

The NPF said that the dignity of the NLA and its democratic principles have been “repeatedly abused on the pretext of implementing COVID-19 measures”.

It said that to protect the democratic practices and to maintain the sanctity of the NLA, the Opposition Party will Boycott the one-day session to be held on August 13, “which has been convened for mere fulfilment of constitutional obligation”.

In a letter addressed to the Assembly Speaker, spokesperson of the NPF Legislature Party Imkong L Imchen listed “pertinent facts and circumstances” which compelled the NPF Legislature Party to Boycott the scheduled Assembly session.

It recounted the speaker’s letter to the governor on August 6 which said that it is factual that a one-day Session was declared following the Business Advisory Committee (BAC) convened in the Committee Room of the Assembly Secretariat on July 20.

It said that the said letter failed to mention the fact that the two NPF MLAs namely Dr. Chotisuh Sazo and Amenba Yaden had requested the speaker to have a three-day Session while accommodating the proposal of the Opposition Party for one day discussion on each of the following issue of public importance viz. Naga Political issue, issue related to COVID-19 and SARFAESI ACT, 2002.

“The request was turned down and subsequently, the two NPF MLAs issued a Communiqué the same evening terming the decision arrived at the BAC Meeting as “discriminatory, unfair and unacceptable.” It said that the letter to the Governor is “one-sided and lacks precision”.

It also recalled the Leader of Opposition, TR Zeliang’s proposal which sought for the extension of the 6th Session of the 13th NLA “by a few more days wherein the second day of the Session can commence in the month of August as deemed convenient post recess.”

As the proposition of the Leader of Opposition went unattended, Zeliang was “compelled to write” to the Governor of Nagaland for the extension of business session to three days.

Also Read: Nagaland Oppn leader seeks 3-day business session during Assembly

Thereafter, the Governor, in response to the letter of the Leader of Opposition had written to the Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio vide D.O No.G-01-02-1/18/Leg dated August 3, a copy of which was also endorsed to the Leader of Opposition and the Speaker.

“Despite clear indication by the Hon’ble Governor that the 6th Session of the 13th NLA should “be of adequate duration to enable it to deliberate over the pressing issues of Nagaland,” your authority failed to consider the same. Instead, a letter was reverted back to the Hon’ble Governor, a copy of which was endorsed to the Hon’ble Leader of Opposition and the Additional CS to the Hon’ble Chief Minister, reaffirming the decision of holding a one-day Session,” it said.

It is pertinent to note that as per Rule-58 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in NLA, notice of an Adjournment Motion shall be given atleast one hour before the commencement of the sitting, the undersigned had served notice for Adjournment Motion two weeks prior to the scheduled date of Assembly Session, it said.

“It is most unfortunate that the same went unattended. Furthermore, Opposition MLAs had filed 29 Questions to be answered during the 6th Session of the 13th NLA but only 12 Questions were accepted by the Assembly Secretariat while the time duration allotted to the Opposition Bench for discussion on matters related to COVID-19 was a mere 35 minutes which by all standard is insufficient,” it added further saying that the NPF’s legislature party will be boycotting the scheduled NLA session.

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