Kohima, August 01 (NEx): The Leader of Opposition and former Chief Minister, TR Zeliang seeks Nagaland Governor’s intervention for the extension of Business Session to 3 days during the ensuing 6th session of the 13th Nagaland Legislative Assembly, which was earlier scheduled on July 30, 2020 and deferred to August 13, 2020.
The LoP said that on the pretext of implementing COVID-19 measures, the present day Government cannot continue to make democratic practices a mockery.
Zeliang stated, ‘After 23 years of political dialogue, the Naga Political Issue as I understand, has arrived at a crucial stage and concern Stakeholders particularly the Nagaland Legislative Assembly (NLA) needs to generate space for deliberation on the matter. During my tenure as Chief Minister, on July 23 and 24, 2015, the Naga Political issue was discussed for two consecutive days in the NLA. 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’- unquote
He also deliberated that, against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic which has witnessed 1693 positive cases and 6 deaths as of today, it is only appropriate for the NLA to set aside enough time for discussion on the matter on the floor of the Assembly.
Further, he added that deliberation on the SARFAESI Act, 2002 is equally important and the NLA cannot continue to ignore the matter unlike during the 5th Session when the matter was dismissed from being discussed even after the same was finalised by the Business Advisory Committee (BAC).
With reference to the subject cited above, the LoP sought the timely intervention of the governor for extension of Business Session to 3 days, for one day discussion on each of the aforementioned issues of public importance – Naga Political Issue, Issue related to COVID-19 and SARFAESI ACT, 2002.
Zeliang also highlighted that extension of the 6th Session was proposed before the Hon’ble Speaker on July 25, 2020 but the same went unattended.
It is understood that the date of commencement and the number of days for Assembly Sessions should be chosen at the convenience of the Hon’ble Speaker and the Hon’ble Leader of the House. However, the same privilege cannot act as a license for either the Hon’ble Speaker or the Hon’ble Leader of the House to construe duration of Assembly Sessions according to their personal suitability.
As is evident, the culpability of holding a one-day Session has been shifted to the Raj Bhavan by releasing Bulletin Part-II on the night of July 29, 2020 by the Assembly Secretariat. The Bulletin maintains that the direction of the Hon’ble Governor for postponement “indicated” August 13, 2020 which implies that the 6th Session of the 13th NLA will be a one-day session for the reason that most of the MLAs will move to various Administrative HQs on August 14, 2020 for hoisting the National Flag on Independence Day.
While pointing out that the dignity of the NLA and its democratic principles cannot continue to be abused by the present day Government, Zeliang urged the governor to re-examine the matter with utmost urgency and consider the best option from those put forth below:
– To convene the 6th Session from August 11, 2020 to August 13, 2020 for a period of 3 days.
– To differ the commencement date of the 6th Session to a day after August 15 or preponement of the same in order to accommodate at least 3 days Session.
– To commence the 6th Session on August 13 as scheduled and adjourn the House without sine die and resume for another 2 days after August 15 (post recess).
Also mentioning that he understand 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,
The LoP said that despite the situation and Kohima reeling under immense pressure due to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent imposition of total-lockdown by the State Government, a one-day Session is not adequate by all means. As such, Zeliang urged the governor to look into the matter and issue necessary direction for a favourable dispensation.