KOHIMA, Feb 25 (NEPS): The Nagaland Assembly has witnessed an unprecedented development when the entire Opposition Members led by Leader of Opposition staged walked out on February 25, 2019 in protest against what it called violation of rules and procedures by Treasury Bench.
The problem started when Minister of Urban Development, Metsubo Jamir started replying to the supplementary questions relating to the Rural Development Department. In which, Leader of Opposition TR Zeliang made a Point of Order and started questioning as to how the Minister was allowed to answer to the supplementary questions not relating to his Department. He questioned as to how the Minister would answer to the supplementary questions not relating to his Department, and also when the Minister in-charge for the Rural Development, that is Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, was present in the House. “Why does not the Chief Minister answer to the questions which are related to his Department,” asked Leader of Opposition.
As some Opposition Members including Zeliang not allowing Jamir to answer questions, Deputy Speaker Zaleo Rio informed the Opposition Members that the Chief Minister had already authorized the Ministers for Department under his charge to handle Parliamentary matters such as answering questions, moving Bills, Motions, resolutions and replying to debates as and when these become necessary for the Third Session of the Thirteenth Nagaland Legislative Assembly.
Leader of Opposition refused to accept the points saying that when the Minister in-charge of Rural Department was present in the House and another Minister replying to questions relating to his Department was unbecoming and violation of rule and procedures of the Assembly. He said ever since the Nagaland Assembly started in 1964, no such practice had happened nor was any precedence created.
But when the Deputy Speaker was repeatedly attempting to convince the Opposition Members by referring to what the Chief Minister had authorized certain Ministers for Departments under his charge to reply, Zeliang started reading references of how Parliamentary and Assembly Businesses were conducted. He was firm on his ground and cautioned that if the Deputy Speaker could not conduct the business of the House under the rules and procedures of the Assembly, they would again stage walkout. Since, the Deputy Speaker was sticking to his stand, the entire Opposition Members led by Zeliang staged walkout.
The entire Opposition Members already staged walkout on February 23, 2019 on the same issue.
Interestingly, the entire Opposition Members led by Zeliang again staged walked out in the afternoon Session on February 25, 2019 when the Leader of House, Rio was moving for adoption of Resolution on Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019.
The Opposition had been asking to omit Resolution No. 3 and 4 out of 5-Point Resolution on CAB, 2019 to which Leader of House refused to do so.
The Resolution No 3 and 4 of the 5-Point Resolution moved by Leader of House say:
“(3) To re-affirm the Constitutional guarantee given by Article 371A which is the part and parcel of the historic 16 Point Agreement that led to formation of Nagaland State and protects, defends and faceguards the customary way of life of Nagas, our right to land and its recourses etc., without interference by Parliamentary enactments like CAB, though it is yet to become a law;
(4) To reiterate the Constitutional position as aforesaid that, except the indigenous population in Nagaland, nobody is entitled to own land and resources in our State, that has been guaranteed not only by Article 371(1)(a) of the Constitution of India but also by the Inner Line Permit Notification issued under the Bengal and Eastern Frontier Regulations, 1873, which was included and reiterated as Point No. 16 of the 16-Point Agreement.”
But the Opposition had been saying that Article 371A had got nothing to do with CAB and it (371A) inserted in the Resolution No. 3 and 4 should be omitted. But Leader of House was arguing that they could not omit it as it protected the Nagas.
As Leader of House and Leader of Opposition failed to come to an acceptable ground on the CAB Resolution, the latter leading the entire Opposition Members staged walkout saying they could not be a party to it.
Later, the 5-Point resolution on CAB 2019 moved by Leader of House was adopted in absence of Opposition Members.