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A heated argument broke out between Umroi MLA George B. Lyngdoh and Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong, just minutes before the discussion on the No-Confidence Motion brought by the Opposition was taken up on the fourth day of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly Autumn Session on Wednesday.
Earlier, during the question hour, Power Minister James P.K Sangma had responded to a question raised by the Umroi legislator by advising him to "do his homework".
After the question hour concluded, George Lyngdoh reacted to the statement and termed the " homework" comment derogatory.
"During the duration of the reply of the Power Minister, I was asked to do my homework before coming to the house. I find it derogatory. If you find any problems in my question, point them out. I am offended by the Power Minister asking me to do my homework, and I expect an apology. I cannot be insulted like that. The people of Umroi cannot be insulted like that," Lyngdoh said.
George Lyngdoh also demanded that the remarks made by the Power Minister be expunged from the proceedings of the House.
Deputy Chief Minister, Prestone Tynsong jumped in to respond to the statements made by George B Lyngdoh.
"You have every right to complain officially to the speaker. In case anything has touched your sentiments, you should have raised it at that time not when it is over. If anyone has not prepared for something, you can ask him to do his homework. I do not find it derogatory," Tynsong said.
"Any derogatory or unparliamentary comment, yes, even I would have to tender an apology. Please do your homework well is not unparliamentary or derogatory," he added.
Leader of Opposition Dr Mukul Sangma came out in support of George Lyngdoh and said, "If I am asking questions on any matter, I have the right to ask on something I don't know. This is the first time in the proceedings of the House that a Minister has asked a questioner to do his homework. This practice must be avoided, and this has been demonstrated by the concerned Minister here. We can't have a whimsical interpretation of the rules. We leave this to the wisdom of the speaker."
Congress MLA Charles Pyngrope interrupted to cool down the situation.
"The Honourable Member from Umroi has within the rules conveyed his displeasure and he has asked for the expungement of the term used by the honourable Minister. Any further discussions on this should be limited. That is my opinion," Congress MLA Charles Pyngrope said.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Conrad Sangma stated that the Umroi legislator's reaction was overdramatic.
"It is the right of the Opposition to ask questions. But we have only one hour of question hour. There are certain questions you need to ask by doing your homework. You need to be a responsible person and ask responsible questions. I think there's nothing wrong in the statement," he said.
"Doing your homework is not a derogatory remark, and if this is, then we can come out with a million words that the opposition has used against us," he said.
Responding to this, Power Minister James P.K Sangma said, "I meant it in the right spirit. It was no way meant in a derogatory manner. If he took it that way, and it hurt his ego, it was not meant in that way. There was no disrespect."
In response to this, the Assembly Speaker said that he would call the proceedings of the House and would announce his ruling later in the day.
(Edited by Andre Kongri)