Imphal: The crucial one-day 4th session of the 12th Manipur Legislative Assembly was held for only about 10 minutes, and it was marked by a lack of any question and answer sessions, discussions, or the consideration of any of the agendas scheduled for the day. The session quickly descended into chaos due to the sloganeering and protests of the opposition party, resulting in its adjournment without any substantial proceedings.
The one day session of the 60-member Manipur Legislative Assembly were attended by 50 MLAs, including the 10 Naga legislators. In contrast, the 10 Kuki MLAs were conspicuously absent and did not attend the session.
Speaker Th Satyabrata Singh urged the opposition members to maintain the decorum but they continued the ruckus, following which Singh adjourned the assembly, stating that it was not possible to continue the session.
For the last four months, Manipur has been torn apart after the ethnic conflict between the Meiteis and Kuki-Zo broke out on May 3. This was the first session convened. Congress MLAs demanded the session to be extended for five days for discussing the prevailing situation in the state.
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Two main agendas for the day were planned: obituary references to six former members of the house and the presentation of the Business Advisory Committee 2023 fifth report by the House leader. However, these agendas could not be addressed as the opposition party engaged in vigorous sloganeering with the slogan “not defile democracy.” In response to the disorder, the Speaker of the House initially postponed the session for 30 minutes, only to eventually announce the adjournment of the session sine-die within an hour of its commencement.
During the session’s commencement at 11 am, a two-minute silence was observed to pay respects to those who lost their lives in the ethnic violence between Meiteis and Kukis that occurred on May 3. In his address, House leader and chief minister N Biren Singh expressed his condolences for the lives lost and acknowledged the limitations of words in conveying the suffering experienced by those who lost their loved ones in the conflict. The House also acknowledged the successful landing of Chandrayaan-3 on the Moon and congratulated scientist Dr. Ningthoujam Raghu Singh from Manipur, who was a part of the ISRO team that led the mission.
However, the session quickly took a negative turn when Congress MLAs began shouting slogans such as “stop mockery, let’s save democracy” from their seats. They demanded a five-day session to thoroughly discuss the prevailing crisis facing the state. The opposition MLAs, led by former chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh, expressed their dissatisfaction with the brevity of the session, arguing that one day was insufficient to address the complexity of the prevailing situation in the ethnically strife-torn state.
Ultimately, due to the disruptions and chaos, the session was adjourned sine die without addressing any of the planned agendas for the day. Unlike typical state assembly sessions, today’s session was conducted under tight security measures and was not live telecast on Doordarshan.
Meanwhile, a press release from Speaker of Manipur Legislative Thokchom Satyabrata states the resolution passed by the house on the 4th Session today reads, “With great sorrow and heavy heart, this House condoles the tragic loss of many lives in the recent violence in the State of Manipur. In times like these, words seem insufficient to express the depth of the pain and grief that has befallen families, communities. and the entire State. This House also extends its thoughts and condolences to their families and loved one, May their souls find eternal peace.
This House unanimously resolved to work for the oneness and harmony of all the people of Manipur, irrespective of caste, community, region, religion or language. This House also resolved that as peace is the priority of the State, this house will strive to resolve all the differences among the people, till complete peace returns to the entire State, through dialogue and constitutional means.
This House resolves to appeal to each and every individual not to pay heed to divisionary elements, maintain peace and shun violence in the interest of our State and Nation. By adopting this resolution, this House reaffirms its dedication to stay together in these trying times by healing wounds, fostering unity, and creating a brighter future for all residents.”