Thongdok advocates independence of assembly secretariat

GUWAHATI, Sep 25: Former Arunachal legislative assembly speaker TN Thongdok on Friday advocated independence of the legislative assembly secretariat with separate power, as per Article 187, “which is analogous to Article 98 of the constitution of India, in line with the parliamentary secretariat.”

Thongdok was delivering a speech on ‘Independence of state legislative assemblies and parliament procedures’ during the centenary celebration of the all India presiding officers’ conference, held at the Assam legislative assembly here.

Emphasizing the need for “reforming the function of the government,” the former speaker advocated “review of rules of procedures in the parliament and legislative assembly for holding longer and frequent sessions.”

Thongdok also suggested that “there should be unfettered freedom in speech and vote of legislatures, notwithstanding affiliation of a private member to a party, except in extreme contingency of instability, in which case the votes of the members should be constrained as per the 10th schedule.”

Several former speakers of the Assam legislative assembly and former principal secretaries of Assam also spoke.

Earlier, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla in a video message informed the house that the centenary celebration will continue till next September to mark 100 years of the institution of presiding officers.

Among others, Assam Speaker Hitendra Nath Goswami, Deputy Speaker Aminul Haque Laskar and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary attended the function.