Congress walks out of Assam assembly over reduction of time for supplementary questions

In protest of the decreased amount of time allotted for follow-up questions during Question Hour, Congress staged a walkout in the Assam assembly on Tuesday. It also complained about the reduction in the number of session days.

Press Trust of India September 13, 2022 15:20:10 IST
Congress walks out of Assam assembly over reduction of time for supplementary questions

Assam Assembly

Opposition Congress on Tuesday staged a walk-out in Assam assembly over the reduction of time allotted for supplementary queries during Question Hour. It also expressed displeasure over lowering the number of session days. Speaker Biswajit Daimary maintained that the House is run as per set norms, and any change can only be made by the rule committee. Five minutes would be allotted for supplementary queries and replies against each question on Tuesday, as per a decision at a business advisory committee (BAC) meeting on Monday, Daimary had informed the House.

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 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. Leader of Opposition Debabrata Saikia said the opposition has limited means to raise matters in the House, and 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, Congress walked out of the House.

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