From 11 am to 11.50 pm and this is a clear reflection of a strong Opposition at work.
Perhaps this was the first time that the Assembly session stretched on for 12 hours on August 1, throw in the one hour of lunch break, and this underlines the point that the Opposition is not ready to give the long rope to the ruling BJP and its partners in Government.
This is what Manipur needs.
The ongoing Assembly session has more or less demonstrated what having a strong Opposition means to the people and this is a welcome departure from the previous Assembly when there was virtually no opposition to the Congress, with the stalwart Opposition Joy having been defeated in the 2012 Assembly election.
Things have come a full circle and if it was the Congress which virtually faced no opposition in the previous Assembly, this time it has taken on the task of trying to be an effective and strong Opposition and this is something which everyone must have welcomed.
What is more interesting is the point that this time around the Opposition is not synonymous with an individual, for in a number of MLAs, the Congress has MLAs who are not ready to take everything the ruling bench has to say lying down.
It was the presence of a strong Opposition which led to the session of the Assembly stretching till 11.50 pm on August 1 and mind you the discussions and debates centred around four demands, and all had to do with the overall good of the State. This augurs well for the State and the people.
As noted earlier here, it is not a single individual flying the flag of the Congress, but a bunch of them and remarkably, leader of the Opposition and former Chief Minister O Ibobi and speaker par excellence, Gaikhangam, who is well known for his witty one liners, have been quiet, leaving the task of keeping the Government on its toes to the other MLAs.
And the Congress MLAs have not been found wanting.
It was a private member resolution moved by MLA Kh Joykisan which prompted Chief Minister N Biren to say that the State Government is mulling over the possibility of lifting the Disturbed Area (DA) tag from the State if the situation improves.
It is the DA tag which paves the way for the imposition of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act and while the Chief Minister’s comment may be seen as nothing much more than sidestepping the real question, it is significant to note that a statement has been delivered on the floor of the House.
Similarly, it was a poser from MLA RK Imo which prompted Revenue Minister Karam Shyam to inform the House that a Boundary Commission will be set up after the ongoing Assembly session.
Drawing the boundary of the districts is important, more so, after the creation of the seven new districts by the previous Congress Government.
Likewise, a number of Congress MLAs, K Ranjit, Loken, Nasir and others too have raised relevant questions, compelling the ruling bench to do their homework and this is good for the State.
A strong Opposition, this is what Manipur needs and let it be so.
Source: The Sangai Express