Opposition Naga People’s Front (NPF) MLAs led by T.R. Zeliang staged a walkout from the Nagaland Legislative Assembly (NLA) on the third day of the third session of the 13th Assembly in Kohima on Saturday alleging violation of rules and procedures of NLA by the treasury bench.
The Opposition members objected when minister for urban development and municipal affairs Metsubo Jamir started answering a starred question relating to rural development department and not his department in the House.
Zeliang questioned how can a minister answer questions not related to his department.
To this, the leader of the House, Neiphiu Rio said any minister can reply to questions even if they are not related to his department.
When Zeliang demanded under what rule a minister can reply to questions not related to his department, Rio reportedly failed to give any specific rule.
The entire Opposition members led by Zeliang informed the House that the sanctity of the House cannot be violated in such a way.
“If they want to run the House like this, we are walking out,” the Opposition MLAs said and walked out.
An official release on Saturday said Nagaland advocate general K.N. Pal Gopal clarified later on the day that a minister in-charge of a department can authorise another minister to answer questions on his behalf according to the principle of collective responsibility.
Before the Opposition NPF MLAs staged the walkout, chief minister Rio, health and family welfare minister S. Pangnyu Phom, forest minister C.M. Chang, geology and mining minister V. Kashiho Sangtam and PWD minister Tongpang Ozukum replied to starred questions on various issues of their departments.