Congress continues protest against reduced time limit for supplementary questions in Assam assembly

Congress staged a walkout in the Assam assembly on Tuesday in protest of the reduced time allotted for follow-up questions during Question Hour. As per reports, the protest continues.

Press Trust of India September 14, 2022 13:41:16 IST
Congress continues protest against reduced time limit for supplementary questions in Assam assembly

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For the second day in a row, the opposition Congress walked out of the Assam assembly on Wednesday due to the time allotted for follow-up questions during Question Hour being cut. They were joined by other opposition members in saying that the BJP-led government was limiting their access to time and resources so they could talk about issues affecting the public.

As the House witnessed repeated noisy scenes over the issue, the state government conceded that the time limit for supplementary queries can be revisited. A decision at the assembly’s Business Advisory Committee (BAC) meeting on Monday to allot five minutes for supplementary queries for each question during Question Hour has led to the latest stand-off between the two sides.

Previously, the number of supplementary questions was confined to allowing two MLAs besides the main questioner, but no time limit was fixed. When Speaker Biswajit Daimary disallowed supplementary queries during Question Hour, citing the five-minute rule, Congress MLAs briefly walked out of the House in protest.

“We are not being allowed to speak. If this is the case, we can just sit at home and watch the proceedings online,” Congress MLA Kamalakshya Dey Purkayastha said outside the House.

AIUDF legislator Ashraful Hussain added, “Our party had so many important points to raise, which are well within the rules of the House. But, we are not given the opportunity.”

Independent MLA Akhil Gogoi, who was suspended for the duration of the Question Hour for “disrupting proceedings”, also alleged that voice of the opposition was being stifled.

Later, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pijush Hazarika said: “The decision was taken at the BAC meeting. If needed, the next meeting can discuss it once again.”

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