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NE States' Speakers to meet in Tripura

By The Assam Tribune

AGARTALA, May 30 (IANS): A two-day conference of Northeast India's Assembly Speakers begins here on Tuesday to allow discussions on parliamentary democracy and an interaction between the presiding officers of the Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha and legislative bodies.

"The summit would strengthen parliamentary democracy and facilitate a dialogue between the presiding officers of the Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha and legislative bodies of the Northeast," Tripura assembly Deputy Speaker Pabitra Kar told IANS here on Monday.

Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, who arrived here on Monday, would inaugurate the conference of North-east Region Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (NERCPA), comprising Speakers and Deputy Speakers of the Assemblies of the eight northeastern States, Kar said.

"The conference would help the presiding officers and members of assemblies to perform the proceedings of house for the betterment of the people. Newly elected members of the assemblies would be able to improve their performance inside and outside the house."

Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker and senior All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader M. Thambidurai, Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien, and Lok Sabha Secretary General Anoop Mishra would also attend the conference.

NERCPA is currently chaired by Meghalaya assembly Speaker Abu Taher Mondal.

The participants include speakers, deputy speakers of seven of the eight northeastern states excluding Assam, some legislators and parliamentarians, Tripura governor, chief minister and parliamentary affairs minister.

A speaker and deputy speaker of the new Assam assembly are yet to be elected.

Kar said besides a discussion on strengthening parliamentary democracy, soil erosion in northeastern region, a burning issue of the mountainous areas, would also be discussed.

"Impact of soil erosion on the local populace and how political intervention could check this problem would be highlighted by the experts," Kar added.

Tripura assembly Speaker Ramendra Chandra Debnath said the 78th edition of the annual All India Presiding Officers' Conference, held in Gujarat, decided that the assembly sessions of big states must be held for 100 days in a year while in small states, including the eight northeastern states, the session must be held for at least 60 days.

However, on an average only 20 to 25-day sessions are being held in most of the assemblies in the northeastern states.

"We have no sufficient business, matters and issues to be discussed in the assembly in a larger number of days," Debnath added.

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