In a first, Assam Assembly holds ballot voting to decide private member's resolution

Guwahati, Feb 23 (IANS): The Assam Assembly used ballot paper voting for the first time in its history on Friday to decide whether to approve a private member's resolution which Independent MLA Akhil Gogoi had introduced.

By a mere nine votes, the irrigation system resolution was defeated.

From the BJP-led ruling alliance, the government received 39 votes, while 30 votes were cast in favour of the resolution.

Prior to this, Speaker Biswajit Daimary had announced that the resolution had been rejected via a voice vote.

However, Gogoi and other opposition members insisted on 'proper' voting, claiming that the ruling party lacked the necessary numbers for voice vote.

Following that, Daimary adjourned the House for 10 minutes, stating that voting shall take place and that the Assembly Secretariat would need time to get ready for the process.

When the House met again, BJP MLA Diganta Kalita was observed counting the members of the ruling party on a sheet of paper during the 30-minute period.

Gogoi was also observed approaching nearly every member with folded hands.

As soon as the House reconvened, the Speaker called for a voice vote, this time including more MLAs from the Treasury Bench, and declared that the resolution has been rejected.

The opposition as a whole, however, objected to this, claiming that Daimary had already called a vote and that the outcome should hold.

Subsequently, the Speaker granted their request, commanded the House doors to be locked, and requested Principal Secretary Hemen Das to oversee the polling. Das then explained the procedure to the lawmakers.

Each member then received a ballot slip from the House staff, which they filled and placed in the ballot box.

Rakibul Hussain, the deputy leader of the Congress Legislative Party (CLP), pleaded with the Speaker to grant the party chief whips access to their MLAs' votes in accordance with the anti-defection law.

Following this, Congress MLAs Kamalakhya Dey Purkayastha and Basanta Das quietly left the House during the voting process. Recently, they had declared their intention to “support the government” without defecting from the grand old party.

The Principal Secretary and his colleagues then counted the votes and submitted the results to the Speaker.

According to the result sheet, there were 30 votes cast in favour, and 39 against the resolution, which was subsequently rejected.

The resolution aimed to provide water to the fields continuously, intended to transfor Assam into a farming state for a full year.



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Title: In a first, Assam Assembly holds ballot voting to decide private member's resolution

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