- NET Web Desk
The Congress party today staged a walk-out in Assam assembly over reduction of time allotted for follow-up queries during Question Hour. It also expressed displeasure over reduction in the number of session days.
The Speaker – Biswajit Daimary maintained that the House is run in accordance with established norms, and any alterations can only be made by the rule committee.
According to a resolution made at a business advisory committee (BAC) meeting on Monday, five minutes were allotted on Tuesday for supplementary queries and responses, in response to each questions against each questions.
Previously, the number of supplementary questions was confined to allowing two MLAs besides the main questioner, but no time limit was fixed.
Deputy Leader of Opposition Rakibul Hussain, who had represented Congress at the BAC meeting, claimed he could not “recall any discussion on Question Hour”.
“The BAC meeting was called for smooth conduct of the House. We discussed about allotting five minutes for raising matters during Zero Hour, followed by the minister’s reply. I cannot recall any discussion on Question Hour as you have said,” Hussain said, referring to the Speaker.
Pointing out that the number of session days had “come down from 45 days to 26 days under the present government”, Hussain added, “We are getting the feeling that they don’t want to hear the opposition.” The Congress leader urged the Speaker to allow 10 minutes for supplementary questions by MLAs other than the main questioner.
The Leader of Opposition (LoP) – Debabrata Saikia said the opposition has limited means to raise matters in the House, and the Question Hour is vital.
“We will leave the matter here. The House cannot just change the rules on the floor here,” Daimary said. He also said discussions were on to increase the number of session days.
With the Speaker refusing to budge from its stance of allowing five minutes for supplementary questions, the Congress walked out of the House.