Hundreds of Congress workers have staged a demonstration in front of the Mizoram assembly to prevent state law minister T.J. Lalnuntluanga from attending the budget session.
The party has sought an apology from the minister for allegedly showing “rude” behaviour to senior Congress leader and legislator C. Ngunlianchunga in the assembly house and legislators’ restroom.
Congress legislators also staged a walk-out from the house on the last day of the budget session in protest against the “unruly behaviour” of Lalnuntluanga, who also holds parliamentary affairs, transport and environment, forest and climate change portfolios.
Ngunlianchunga was absent from the house as he had flown to his constituency due to unavoidable personal reasons.
Both Nugnlianchunga and Lalnuntluanga had engaged in a heated argument during a discussion on the budget earlier this week.
Congress alleged that besides passing abusive remarks to its legislator, the law minister had also intended to physically attack him outside the assembly house.
Also read: Mizoram: Bypoll to Serchhip seat on April 17
Although Lalnuntlanga had reportedly tendered a written apology to Ngunglianchunga, a copy of which was widely circulated on various social media platforms, the Congress party argued that the law minister did not apologize for the incident that took place outside the house.
The law minister’s signature appeared to be “forged” as it was not similar to his signature given on his affidavit papers before the Mizoram assembly polls in 2018, the party alleged.
The protesters also clashed with police when they barricaded the assembly house to prevent the minister from attending the budget session.
However, no untoward incident was reported during the demonstration.
Former transport minister and senior Congress leader John Rotluangliana alleged that the ruling Mizo National Front (MNF) legislators are living a luxurious life despite the state reeling under acute financial crisis.
He claimed that people are being impoverished due to fiscal mismanagement under the MNF rule.
The ruling MNF has 27 MLAs in the 40-member assembly, main opposition Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM) has six, Congress has five and BJP has one.
The Serchhip constituency seat is lying vacant as the incumbent MLA Lalduhoma (independent) was disqualified under anti-defection law in November last year.
The bypolls to the constituency will be held on April 17.