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Budget Session: Wit & reasoning power Vs stubbornness & aggression
Correspondent Kohima, Mar 25 (NPN):
Published on 26 Mar. 2011 12:41 AM IST
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It was not all about serious business at the ninth session of the 11th Legislative Assembly, when opposition members provoked laughter in the house Friday during question hour.
Congress members Konngam, who spoke in Nagamese, likened the ruling and opposition as living in the same hostel, which he described as being like a football ground where both play. He also said share the same plate, same room and even sleeping in the same bed. He however regretted that the ruling did not share its policy and programmes with the opposition. While urging the ruling to be transparent, Konngam said both should share each other’s dreams after waking up because they share the same bed.
The laughter continued when Congress member and former chief minister K.L. Chishi in an oblique reference to chief minister Neiphiu Rio and parliamentary secretary of fishery and printing and stationary S. Heno referred to the annual administrative report of the fisheries about ‘Air breathing fist culture’ which he described in Nagamese as ‘hawa kha mas’ contained in the state plan scheme.
Members who appeared bored roared with laughter when Chishi referred to the report which elaborated on the ‘hawa kha mas’ as tempting customers with its taste, high protein, iron, low fat content and medical properties.
However, the report admitted that due to the fund constraint no provision could be made during the Annual Plan 2010-11.
Chishi went on to point out that the Printing and Stationary department could not make much progress due to poor budgetary support and pointed out that ‘unfortunately’ both the departments were under the same parliamentary secretary, S. Heno.
After this, Chishi then targeted urban development minister Dr. Shurhozelie by calling him “my best friend” whom he was associated with long ago but parted due to some differences. He went on to describe Dr. Shürhozelie as a staunch regionalist and recalled the latter’s speech made long ago. Chishi quoted Dr. Shürhozelie as having said that “if you cannot achieve 1000 then cut of one zero and make it 100 and if not cut another zero and make it 10. Again, if not possible, then cut off another zero and at least achieve one”. Chishi disclosed he was referring
to his request for Rs.2,00,000 from the Urban Development minister for construction of footpaths and drainages in his constituency. Chishi confessed that the minister ultimately provided Rs.1.5 lakh. He said once when he had whispered about his request for money into the minister’s ears as they were seated next to each other at a function, Chishi said the minister told him that they will discuss about it. Chishi said “I am discussing this here today. There’s nothing secret” and in humour, folded his hands and bowed his head asking the minister to at least give him something more. This provoked further laughter in the house.
Confused Question & Answer
When there is communication gap among members in the house, it only created confusion and Congress member Kheto expounded on this dilemma. Speaking in Naganmese, Kheto said when questions are raised, minister doesn’t know and neither does one understand the replies. Kheto asked “Bhagwan anibo neh ki(should God be brought or not)?”
Kheto was brokering the miscommunication between Power Minister Doshehe and Congress member Lampgha during question hour Friday.
Doshehe, while answering to a starred question raised by opposition member Lamph, stated that NABARD had sanctioned Rs 6576.96 lakh for Doyang-III and Rs. 3486.96 lakh for Doyang-IV while Doyang-I and II being under the NEEPCO with the state having no expenditure.
Doshehe also said the M/s North East Energy Products (NEEP) was the firm which had signed MoU with the state government for investment on Doynag –III & IV on a PPP mode and is carrying out detailed survey.
Raising supplementary question, Lampha who spoke in Nagamese, asked why the expenditure on Doyang-I & II was nil.Intervening on the matter, Congress member Kheto pointed out that the same question was asked during the last assembly session and that as per the statement made by the Power minister, the written answers revealed differences in figures between in the last assembly and the current.
Minister for power Doshehe replied that NABARD sanctioned Rs. 171 crore but had not released the money. He further confused the questioner by saying that in 2008, NABARD had released Rs.1 crore but the money has not come.
As the confusion only widened, Congress member Lampha, who switched to Hindi asked the minister “Dhyan se suno, aur thik se reply deyo” which evoked roar of laughter. However, opposition member Kheto sealed the confusion when speaking in Nagamese said “Questioner ki hodey, minister nah jane. Minister ki answer koreh questioner nah jane. Bhagowan anibo nah ki?.
Tussle on answers to be read out or not
The third day of the ongoing budget session began with the usual question hour and a bit of verbal fencing between the ruling and treasury benches. Unlike the previous day when the printed answers to starred questions provided to the members of the house were not allowed to be read out again by the ministers or parliamentary secretaries, the speaker today allowed the ministers and parliamentary secretaries to re-read the replies.
Members from the opposition bench led by opposition leader Tokheho requested the speaker that, since the answers were provided to the members of the house in written, it was not necessary to read them again in order to save time. However, the ruling bench insisted on reading out the written answers and this led to debate.
Leader of the house,Chief minister Neiphiu Rio however intervened saying that the answers should be read out for the benefit of those officers and visitors sitting in the gallery. He justified by saying that those in the gallery might not know what the answers pertained to and to be able to link them with the supplementary questions.
The plea from the ruling bench sealed the argument. Opposition leader Tokheho was seen seen imitating the member of the ruling who read out or answered starred questions slowly and nodding his head, was heard saying ‘yea, we know from before’.

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