Cong seeks Privilege Motion against Assam minister

2 Apr 2018

Congress MLA Sherman Ali Ahmed today sought to bring a Privilege Motion against Minister of state for power Pallab Lochan Das for "misleading the House" in giving replies to the questions raised in the Assembly.
Assam Assembly Speaker Hitendra Nath Goswami disallowed the motion, but cautioned all ministers to be more careful in replying inside the House as the questions represent issues of the common people of the state. "On March 26, 2018 and February 12, 2018, I had asked two questions regarding electrification of villages in Mandia block. Minister Pallab Lochan Das misled the House by providing wrong information. This is contempt of the august House and is a fit case for Breach of Privilege. Hence is the Privilege Motion against him," Ahmed said in his appeal to introduce the motion.
Elaborating, he said Das had replied to his queries on the two dates that some villages under discussion were either partially or fully electrified by the government, but even electric poles were not erected in most of these villages.

"On February 12, an annexure was provided saying that nine villages were electrified. But, tower lines have to be built over Jaljali River for electrifying these villages and it is not done yet. Das jas misled the House," Ahmed said.
On August 13, 2016, the government had announced in the House to float tender "within a short period of time" to construct tower lines over Jaljali, but it did not happen despite giving an assurance, the Congress member said. "Again on September 11, 2017, the concerned Minister said in the House that electrification will be done within March this year. So, how could he say on March 26 and February 12 that electrification have already done? Under these circumstances, I request you to kindly allow me to move a Motion of Breach of Privilege against the Minister," Ahmed urged the Speaker.
Reacting to the request, Goswami said that there are some procedural deficiencies in raising the Privilege Motion, but he allowed it to be raised by the opposition member because of seriousness of the issue. "I allowed you to speak because a message should go from here. It is better if the answers are proper as the questions are asked for the people. It is a serious matter. I do not want to allow this Motion, but taking it very seriously. The message should be loud and clear from here," he added.

The Speaker also said that Breach of Privilege Motion is for giving wrong answers willfully,knowingly and intentionally, but it has to be examined first before accepting. "The ministers should note this and reply carefully. If any wrong information is given, then it should be corrected," he added. Accepting the Speaker's decision, Ahmed concluded by saying "We do not want to put any minister in an awkward position by bringing in a Privilege Motion. But giving wrong information has been happening repeatedly for the last two years". (PTI)