The opposition Voice of the People Party (VPP) on Friday withdrew its amendment motion to the allocation of time proposed by the Business Advisory Committee (BAC) for the current Assembly’s autumn session after the government assured to extend the session by 2-3 hours every day.
Moving his motion, Nongrum said he was unhappy on seeing the calendar as allocation of 5 working days is too short, especially when government convenes Assembly only twice a year and giving only 2 days to Private Members’ Business is not enough, when there are so many pressing issues concerning the state.
He said there are many important issues concerning the state which include ranking of the state as per national index on poverty and education is the lowest in the entire country, menace of drugs, student concerns on the National Education Policy (NEP) and others
“So with deep concern I ask, can these burning issues and many more, which directly affect the common people of the state, be sufficiently addressed in just 5 days of House sittings? Why such an attempt to restrict length of Session? What is the underlying agenda?… A short assembly session is nothing less than murder of democracy…..I am of the opinion that allocation of time for Private Members’ Business should be extended to as many days as Government Business, and that the Calendar for Private Members’ Business should not be scheduled on a Friday where House sitting concludes at 12 noon,” Nongrum added.
Replying to the motion, Deputy Chief Minister in-charge Parliamentary Affairs Prestone Tynsong said, “In fact that day when we had the BAC meeting, we had already discussed the details with all members and we fixed it for five days’ session.”
“(However) during the five days’ session, under your (Speaker) wisdom Sir we said we can extend (the session) to 2-3 hours, if necessary. So I calculated if we extend 2-3 hours in five days, it will be more or less more than 1 day,” he said.
Tynsong also requested the opposition side to sit together and decide while submitting the issues so that office of the Speaker can regulate the time.