Speaker Gives 10 Minutes to Assam MLAs to Talk at Will in Assembly

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GUWAHATI, Dec 21 (PTI): Apparently frustrated by repeated verbal duels between ruling and opposition benches that disrupt proceedings, Assam assembly Speaker Biswajit Daimary on Tuesday gave a ‘free-for-all’ ten minutes to the legislators to talk and debate as they wished.

The Speaker also started speaking in his mother tongue Bodo later when his pleas to the MLAs to maintain decorum in Assamese fell on deaf ears.

Bodo, an associate official language of the state, was included among the languages for transaction of business in the assembly after Daimary, a leader of the Bodo community, had taken over as the Speaker.

Uproarious scenes broke out in the House soon after the beginning of the day’s proceedings when opposition and ruling MLAs hurled allegations and counter-allegations during a reply to a question of the Panchayat and Rural Development department.

Daimary stood up and requested the legislators to maintain decorum and let the proceedings continue.

When his repeated pleas went unheard, the Speaker said he would allow the next 10 minutes for the members to continue with their ‘kajia’ (fight) and speak as they wished, and he will not interfere.

As the din refused to die down, Daimary once again reminded the MLAs at the end of the fifth minute that if the ruckus grew louder, he would not allow any of the proceedings during that period to be put on record.

The normal proceedings resumed at the end of the 10 minutes and continued smoothly for nearly 30 minutes before the ruckus started once again.

With verbal duels resuming between the two sides, the Speaker started speaking in Bodo as his requests in Assamese to pacify the MLAs met with no success.

Unable to understand what Daimary was saying, a number of MLAs put on their headphones to listen to the Assamese translation. The assembly has a provision for that.

As the noise subsided, Daimary again requested the MLAs to cooperate with him in ensuring that the House runs smoothly and the proceedings resumed.

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