Four legislators of the opposition Voice of the People Party (VPP) on Monday staged a walkout in protest against the Governor Phagu Chauhan for addressing the House in Hindi.
This came after the Speaker Thomas A Sangma gave his ruling allowing the Governor to deliver his address in Hindi.
VPP chief and legislator from Nongkrem Ardent Miller Basaiawmoit raised objection as soon as the Governor started delivering his address in HIndi during the first day of the Assembly’s budget session.
Basaiawmoit said the rules speak out very clearly that the business of the Assembly shall be conducted in English.
“So through you Sir may I inform the Governor that Meghalaya is not a Hindi speaking state. I would also like to remind each of us that the people and leaders of the state decided to part ways with Assam because the Assam government tried to impose Assamese as an official language. Sir, I feel we should not allow this to become a tradition in this august House,” he said.
“The government of India did not pay heed to the demand of the state for inclusion of Khasi and Garo languages in the Eighth Schedule thereby depriving our state. Therefore, I appeal to you sIr that the Governor should address us in the language that we understand,” Basaiawmoit said.
Not satisfied with the ruling of the Speaker, the VPP leader shouted slogans “down down, we condemn the governor for addressing us in the language that we don’t understand.”
Accordingly, Basaiawmoit and three other legislators of the party staged a walkout as a mark of protest.
Expressing concern at the behaviour of the opposition members, chief minister Conrad K Sangma said since the Governor cannot read in English, translated speech has been circulated in the House as per rule and that there is no reason for the members to protest.