AIZAWL, March 22 - Opposition MLAs in Mizoram Assembly stormed out of the ongoing budget session today in protest against the alleged �partial ruling� of Deputy Speaker R Lalrinawma.
Talking to reporters after the walkout, Er Lalrinawma, of Mizo National Front (MNF), said the Opposition MLAs will not attend the remaining days of the budget session if the Deputy Speaker continues to sit on the Speaker�s chair.
The Opposition has six MLAs in the 40-member Assembly including five MNF and one Mizoram People�s Conference, while the ruling Congress has 34 MLAs.
The Deputy Speaker allegedly barred opposition MLA Er Lalrinawma from participating in the discussion on two supplementary demands raised by Ministers Zodintluanga and John Rotluangliana.
�The Deputy Speaker dismissed the discussion and called the Ministers to wind up at 12:40pm, ignoring Er Lalrinawma who raised his hand,� MNF MLA Dr K Beichhua said. By the time the discussion was dismissed, only four members, two each from ruling and opposition benches, had participated.
�The Deputy Speaker said he would dismiss the discussion if there is no other member to join the discussion. At that time, Er Lalrinawma raised his hand. The Deputy Speaker pretended that he did not see anyone raising hand. Then I stood up and said I just saw him raising his hand. The Deputy Speaker ignored us and went ahead with his decision,� Dr Beichhua said.
Dr Beichhua said they immediately met Speaker Hiphei at his office and told him of their displeasure with the Deputy Speaker�s ruling and their decision to boycott the remaining Assembly proceedings under the latter�s chairmanship.
�This is partiality and disrespect to the members of the House. It is also against democratic principles,� Dr Beichhua fumed.
�We were to discuss supplementary demands of two important departments. We had a lot of things to discuss about suspicious misappropriation of funds in the two departments. Did the Deputy Speaker want to prevent us from disclosing all these things?� MNF MLA Lalruatkima asked.