Former Parliamentarian Hiphei becomes Mizo Assembly Speaker for second time

Former Parliamentarian Hiphei was on Monday elected Speaker of the Mizoram Assembly for the second time after the 40 MLAs were administered oaths by Protem Speaker R Lalrinawma.

The Mara tribe leader was elected unopposed, and was exhorted by both CM Lal Thanhawla and Opposition Leader Vanlalzawma to maintain the traditional discipline of the state assembly.

"In other legislatures of the country, including Parliament, famous, rich and educated leaders often disrupt proceedings so much business has to be adjourned many times. In Mizoram, we never have such problems," said CM Lal Thanhawla, a sentiment seconded by Vanlalzawma, also a former Parliamentarian.

Hiphei, who began his political career from the council of a tribal autonomous district, was first deputy speaker in 1972 when Mizoram was a Union Territory. He became Speaker in 1989, two years after Mizoram became a state. He later became a Rajya Sabha MP.

Opposition leader Vanlalzawma said, "It is a long way from Chapui (Hiphei's birthplace in southern Mizoram) to the Indian Parliament, and you rose from the district council to the state assembly to Parliament."

Hiphei meanwhile said in his first address as Speaker said, "I am extremely happy to be Speaker once again, and my only disappointment is that my parents are no longer alive to see this day while my wife, recovering from a surgery, could not attend."

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