Officials' absence forces adjournment of Pondy assembly

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Puducherry, Apr 21 (UNI) The Puducherry assembly today adjourned for 15 minutes to protest the absence of senior officials, including Secretaries in the officers lobby, where the session was in progress.

While participating in the discussion on demand for grants for various departments, including medical and agriculture, Communist Party of India (CPI) member Na Ra Kalainathan regretted the absence of Health Minister E Valsaraj in the House and asked, ''If the minister concerned was not present in the House to listen, what is the use of members participating in the debate.'' The Chief Minister N Rangasamy intervened and said the Secretary conserned was there in the lobby and taking notes of the members speech. When the DMK members supported by Namasivayam (INC) pointed out that neither the Secretary nor the senior officials were there in the assembly, Speaker R Radhakrishnan varified it and said the officials should come to the House and express regret for their absence and adjourned the House till then at 1240 hrs.

The Speaker came to the House at 1255 hrs and announced that the senior officals came to the House, expressed regret and also assured that they would ensure that such a situation would not recur. He then invited the Puducherry Munnetra Congress (PMC) member Anand to speak.

Mr Kalainathan, however, said he was yet to finish his speech and the business of the House continued.

UNI PAB KD HS1442

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