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Zeliang pushes for 3-days Assembly session; seeks Governor’s intervention

T R Zeliang

Dimapur, August 1: Opposition leader TR Zeliang has sought the intervention of the Governor of Nagaland in extending the business session of the ensuing 6th session of the 13th Nagaland Legislative Assembly to three days.
In a letter to the Governor, the opposition leader sought the timely intervention of the Governor for extension of business session to 3 days – one day discussion on Naga political issue; issues related to COVID-19 and SARFAESI ACT, 2002, which Zeliang said are issues of public importance.
Elaborating on the issues of public importance, Zeliang said after 23 years of political dialogue, the Naga political issue has arrived at a crucial stage and concerned stakeholders, particularly the Nagaland Legislative Assembly (NLA), needs to generate space for deliberation on the matter. He recalled that during his tenure as Chief Minister, on July 23&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,” he insisted.
Likewise, Zeliang said 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.
Furthermore, he said 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 finalized by the Business Advisory Committee (BAC).
Accusing the PDA Government of continuing to make democratic practices a mockery on the pretext of implementing COVID-19 measures, Zeliang admitted that the date of commencement and the number of days for Assembly sessions should be chosen at the convenience of the Speaker and the Leader of the House. However, he insisted that the same privilege cannot act as a license for either the Speaker or the 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 vide No.AS/LEG-36/2020 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,” he said.
Stating 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. He suggested convening the 6th Session from August 11 to 13 for a period of 3 days; or 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 or 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).
Zeliang noted that extension of the 6th Session was proposed before the Speaker by him vide D.O letter No. LO/CORR/SPKR-2020 on July 25, but the same went unattended.
“It is understood 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, despite this and for the reason already stated above, a one-day session is not adequate by all means. As such, your high authority may look into the matter and issue necessary direction for a favourable dispensation as prayed form” he appealed. (Page News Service)