(Click here to see full episode: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3CQOfpnzgqQ )
Panaji: Speaker of Goa Legislative Assembly Ramesh Tawadkar said that the future sessions of the House would be a lengthier ones so that the newly elected MLAs can learn and also participate in the proceedings in a better way.
Tawadkar said that the the monsoon session of the Assembly which was scheduled for a good 25 days had to be curtailed due to Code of Conduct imposed for Panchayat elections in the state.
“We have decided that in future, the Assembly Sessions would be a longer affair so that the new MLAs can participate in discussions and learn about the Assembly proceedings,” said the Speaker.
When asked about the recent merger of eight Congress MLAs into BJP, Tawadkar said that the merger was as per the Constitutional provisions.
“A group of two third split from the party and merged in the BJP. Everything went as per the rule book,” he said.
The Speaker said that when the split happened, he was away in Delhi but had rushed back to the state capital on the same day and completed the formalities.
“It happened all of sudden. I presume that even they decided to take this decision suddenly,” he said.
When asked whether it is healty in the democracy for MLAs to get elected on one party ticket and shift to another without facing polls again, Tawadkar said that these MLAs may have felt that their party (Congress) was not able to give justice to them, that is why they joined the BJP.
“The dynamics of politics have changed in recent times. We have a vibrant politics now. The MLAs have to think about the overall development of their constituency during their tenure,” he commented.
When pointed out that the strength of the opposition benches have been reduced to mere seven out of 40, the Speaker said that the less number in the non-ruling benches will give them more time to speak on the floor of the House.
“I feel that even if the number amongst the opposition is less, they will get more opportunity to speak in the House. They will be able to establish their leadership. We can consider this as a plus point,” he opined.
Tawadkar said that he has always tried to balance between ruling and opposition during the last session providing equal opportunities to speak to both the sides.