A meeting of the National Assembly’s house committee held on July 14 decided to dissolve the committee prematurely following alleged grievances towards the Speaker and the Secretary General, Kuensel has learnt.

Comprising chairpersons of various standing committees, the house committee is the apex committee of the House. The committee’s term is five years or until the Assembly dissolves. It elects a chairperson annually on a rotational basis.

The committee’s chairperson MP Karma Tenzin would complete his year-long term on August 12. However, he submitted his resignation recently.

MP Karma Tenzin said he was not present at the meeting. But he said it was “normal” for a chairperson to resign from the post. He said he submitted his resignation as per Sections 319 and 320 of the Assembly’s Rules of Procedure, according to which a chairperson may resign from a committee by writing under his hand, stating reasons, addressed to the Speaker.

After a chairperson resigns, the committee elects his replacement from among its members by consensus or by majority vote. However, the committee members decided to dissolve the committee altogether.

One of the committee members, MP Dophu Dukpa, said the decision was taken so that there would be new members. The decision of the committee will be submitted to the Speaker for consideration.

Committee member, MP Ritu Raj Chhetri, said that he stood against dissolving the committee at the meeting. “The committee has so many tasks to carry out. I don’t understand why they decided to dissolve when the committee was nearing completion of five years,” he said. “The resolution of the committee will be submitted to the Speaker. He may ask the committee members to reconsider their decision.”

Kuensel learnt that the members decided to dissolve the committee in show of their grievances against the Speaker and the Secretary General. It is learnt that the committee members were disgruntled over the functioning of the National Assembly.

Speaker Jigme Zangpo said he had not received the committee’s decision as of yesterday. “The committee’s prerogative was to elect its chairperson and vice chairpersons. They cannot dissolve the committee like that,” he said. “When a chairperson tenders his resignation, a new chairperson has to be elected.”

The house committee considers all trainings, seminars, conferences, study tours and other human resource related matters of the members of the Assembly. Unlike other committees, the house committee deals with all matters related to Assembly members. It represents all members of the Assembly and reports their administration problems to the Secretariat.

The committee also looks into the problems and welfare of Assembly members and considers all issues raised by the non-committee members.

Kengkhar-Weringla MP Rinzin Jamtsho and Panbang MP Dorji Wangdi represent the opposition in the committee. The other members include Khamdang Ramjar MP Sonam Dondup Dorjee, Chumey-Ura MP Tshewang Jurmi, Nyishog Saephu MP Kuenga, Mendrelgang MP Yogesh Tamang, Talo-Kabji MP Dophu Dukpa, Chukha MP Rinzin Dorji and Nganglam MP Choida Jamtsho.

MB Subba