Cabinet minister Ampareen Lyngdoh today said if Hindi is to be spoken in the legislative assembly, non-Hindi speaking legislators should be privy to what is being said by the Governor.
The upcoming budget session of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly will see the customary inaugural address by the Governor on February 16, the first day of the session.
On March 20, 2023, the Assembly saw massive disruption during Governor Phagu Chauhan’s speech as his address in Hindi enraged the MLAs of the Voice of the People’s Party (VPP).
The VPP yesterday had already written to Speaker Thomas Sangma that it will not be part of proceedings if the Governor’s speech is only in Hindi without an English translator.
“We must remember that in this landmark address of the legislative assembly. The Governor, who is the administrative head of the state, it is important for him to speak in a language understood by all and if at all you are going to be forced by other circumstances to speak a language not understood by all, then you should make sure that there is going to be provisions for those who do not understand or speak a language and they should be clear and understand what is being said.”
Lyngdoh, who had in 2018 staged a walk out, when the then Governor Ganga Prasad addressed the house in Hindi said, “I wish that they (Assembly secretariat) would make translations on headphones available for the MLA so that we understand what is being discussed.”
She further maintained that there is a speech in English that is circulated to every member of their table and it is important to follow that speech in toto printed in the English version.
“We must ensure that there is a democratic presentation of the plans and objectives of the government in the next five years and that should be understood by all MLAs and legislators sitting inside the house. I presume if that is done then there would not be any objection,” she added.