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Oppn voice muffled in Tripura Assembly, says CPI(M) legislator

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Press Trust of India Agartala
Accusing Deputy Speaker Biswabandhu Sen of political bias, Opposition CPI (M) MLAs Thursday alleged their voices were muffled in the Assembly.
The deputy speaker was presiding over the interim Budget session in the Assembly in absence of Speaker Rebati Mohan Das.
Tapan Chakraborty, the CPI(M) chief whip in the House, said the opposition bench legislators were not allowed to speak on a Calling Attention Notice, moved by CPI (M) MLAs Shyamal Chakraborty and Sahid Choudhury to highlight the plight of paddy farmers in Sepahijala district in view of the rising water level at Rudrasagar Lake.
Choudhury walked out of the House in protest, he said.
We were not allowed to speak, but a ruling party MLA was given nearly 15 minutes to make irrelevant statements. Our MLAs were forced to remain silent. The deputy speaker was partial in his approach, Chakraborty told reporters.
There is no freedom of speech in the House, he said.
We severely condemn the role of the deputy speaker in suppressing our voices. We want business to be conducted in democratic way in the Assembly, the CPI(M) MLA insisted.
Responding to the Calling Attention Notice, Minister for Agriculture and Farmer Welfare Pranajit Singha Roy told the House Thursday that the water resource department, in keeping with a court order, had to shut down a sluice gate on a local rivulet to maintain 11-meter water level in the lake.
A survey has revealed that 1,395 families are unable to cultivate paddy on 615.70-hectare land adjoining the lake. The state wetland authority is preparing a master plan to ensure alternative means of income for these families, the minister said.
Chakraborty, when asked about the state governments assurance, said farmers interests need to be prioritized under all circumstances.
We dont object to the plans of the government. However, we want to ensure that farmers interests are protected at all cost, he said.
The CPI(M) legislator also said that the two MLAs, who moved the notice in the House, could have given a in-depth insight into the problem as they represented the people of Sepahijala district.
It is not acceptable that those who moved the notice were not allowed to speak on the matter, even when the ruling party MLA was allotted 15 minutes, Chakraborty said, referring to Singha Roy.

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First Published: Feb 28 2019 | 8:20 PM IST

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