IMPHAL, July 13: Despite a walkout by Trinamool members, the Manipur legislative assembly today passed the bill for appointment of parliamentary secretaries.
Chief Minister Okram Ibobi asserted that even if the opposition leader Irengbam Ibohalbi disproves the motion, the House has to ultimately pass the bill.
“Even if the honorable member disapproves, the bill will be passed”, said the CM.
Following the response, Trinamool representatives including Th Shyamkumar,Maibam Kunjo, Kh Joykishan, Th Biswajit and Oinam Lukhoi followed Ibohalbi’s lead and walked out of the House today.NPF member Samuel Rishom also joined in the stance of the opposition party.
Later, the bill for institution of parliamentary secretaries was left to a voice vote by the speaker, and the Congress having undisputed majority won the vote and the Manipur Parliamentary Secretary (Appointment, Salary and Allowances and Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill,2012 was passed.
Ibohalbi questioned whether the secretaries are to be appointed due to pressure from Congress MLAs which did not get cabinet berths. He asked whether there are cracks inside the CLP or the secretaries are to be deputed for effective governance.
“If the government has accountability and transparency, what is the need for parliamentary secretaries? How many are to be deputed? Won’t the public think that the ministers are incompetent!” he added that the work of the secretaries can be done by a head clerk and further that the deputation of secretaries having ranks of a minister of state is unconstitutional.
Replying to the opposing motion, O Ibobi clarified that the secretaries are deputed in other states of Assam, Punjab, Gujarat,Andhra Pradesh and Mizoram under the Parliament Act of 1972 and does not violate the Constitution.
He maintained that there are no problems within the Congress party and the issue is raised as a bill to enhance the workings of different departments. “The matter could have been initiated as an ordinance, but following the Governor’s directive, we have put it up in the House”, he added that ministers have charges of multiple departments and the secretaries are to assist the concerned.
Following further argument from Ibohalbi, the CM said that despite his opposing stance, the Bill has to be passed in the larger interest.