Budget session begins tomorrow without LO

SHILLONG, March 18: With a day to go before budget session gets underway, the state Assembly is caught on legal tangle as opposition is unable to resolve the issue of Leader of Opposition.
The Speaker has sought legal advice on the matter.
State Law department has given its opinion to the Speaker who has also consulted legal and constitutional experts from the different houses.
The Opposition parties in the Assembly are disjointed and nonchalant on the issue of selecting a Leader of Opposition.
While Congress claims that its nominee should get recognition by virtue of it being a national party, the strategy of TMC, which has equal number of five seats along with Congress, was unclear. Congress, TMC, and VPP which have a combined strength of 14, are yet to reach any consensus on having an opposition leader.
The Speaker had earlier stated that the rules clearly say that an opposition party must have at least one-sixth of the total number of members of the House to claim the post of LO.
“He has anyway sought the advice of law department and other departments. We have also in fact sought the Rules and Procedures of Conduct of Business in the Lok Sabha and I am sure the speaker has been well informed and well briefed about the matter”, State Law Minister and government spokesperson, Ampareen Lyngdoh said on Saturday.
She said this while reacting to MPCC chief Vincent Pala’s accusation that the government is trying to suppress the Opposition by denying its nominee recognition as the Leader of the Opposition.
Pala had surmised that the ruling conglomerate wants to hold absolute power with them and turn it into an unbridled monopoly.
Terming the statement of Pala as pre-mature and irrelevant, she said that the House is yet to start and even elect the Deputy Speaker on the first day of the session and that there are procedures of the House which were adhered to and taken into consideration.
“This matter is at the hands of the Speaker and it would be the speaker who would be the best person to comment on this matter. At the end of the day the house is at his disposal,” she added.

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