Question hour concludes amidst commotion

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IMPHAL, February 24: In an unexpected turn of event, the leader of the House, Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh, today had to intervene and pacify a misunderstanding during the question hour that apparently was turning sore against the Speaker.

Prior to taking up today’s agenda, the Speaker made an announcement that only two supplementary questions would be allowed to MLAs raising their starred questions during the question and answer hour.

As the question hour progressed, Kh Joykishan Singh and Th Bishwajit Singh, raised their questions on Manipur Development Society (MDS) marked as starred question number 468.

The response of which was given by the Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh.

However, not satisfied with the reply especially with regards to bank accounts of the MDS, Bishwajit in his supplementary question sought the technically recommended banks for the MDS as per norm.

In his response the Chief Minister informed the House that the MDS has accounts in Vijaya Bank, SBI, Axis bank and HDFC, before adding that SBI was the authorised bank.

In his supplementary question, Joykishan pointed out that how could the MDS violate its own constitution and under what circumstance the MDS has opened its accounts in non-nationalised banks when the constitution clearly mentions SBI to be the right bank.

Midway of Joykishan’s question, the Speaker tried to remind the MLA of his earlier announcement with regards to restriction of supplementary questions. This triggered an unfavourable exchange of opinions from both sides.

The Chief Minister, responding to Joykishan query, admitted that as per norm most government accounts should be operated by nationalised banks before assuring that he would look into the matter and rectify the error.

Continuing with the question and answer hour, RK Imo Singh, raised his question in connection with prepaid connection in Imphal City, marked as starred question 469.

The Chief Minister, who was incharge of MAHUD, gave his response followed by supplementary questioned from the MLA.

Similar to the last instance, the Speaker reminded about the restriction and time constraint before asking the MLA to shortened his supplementary question.

A disappointed Imo said that it was better to remain seated if one is not allowed to question further.

Things turned more unfavourable when Joykishan raised his questioned (marked as starred question 470) in connection with the construction of secure building, which according him was also violated the norms by floating closed tender.

Just before going to his supplementary questions, Joykishan to drew the attention of the house to notify a mater regarding the question apparently prompted the speaker to interrupt to give another reminder to come to the point.

To this a heated word exchanged ensued to the extent that the MLA went on to say “Sir please do not interrupt while I am asking my supplementary question”.

The MLA was of the opinion that there was no harm in giving more time as there was only five starred question against one hour and carried on with his supplementary question.

To this the Chief Minister taking his time, gave his opinion that there was no harm in giving more time considering the fact that there was few questions which all were of the public interest.

Subsequently, the questioned hour progressed smoothly.

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