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Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Bengal: Monsoon session reduced to one day over infection fear

House to be adjourned after obituary references and placing of a few reports: Govt

By: Express News Service | Kolkata | September 9, 2020 11:48:27 am
Vidhan Sabha staff members, journalists and police personnel queue up to undergo rapid antigen test in the Assembly building on Tuesday, a day before the one-day monsoon session. Partha Paul

The Assembly monsoon session has been cut short to one day on Wednesday from two days over coronavirus concerns. The decision was taken during an all-party meeting on Tuesday.

“Although we wish to hold a longer monsoon session, the Covid-19 pandemic is forcing us to cut short the days. A lot of our MLAs have tested positive, and some of them have died. Even a former minister has died of Covid. We have to keep in mind the health of those MLAs above 65 years of age. Under these circumstances, we have decided that we will hold a one-day monsoon session. It has been decided that the House will be adjourned after obituary references and placing of a few reports,” said Assembly Speaker Biman Bandyopadhyay.

He said a resolution on former President Pranab Mukherjee, who recently passed due to a lung infection, will be brought for discussion.

Meanwhile, Leader of the Opposition Abdul Mannan criticised the state government’s decision for the truncated session and for not accepting proposals to bring in a resolution against the “anti-people” policies of the Centre.

“We wanted to bring in a resolution against the National Education Policy and rise in the prices of essential goods. However, our proposal was turned down by the government. There have been instances when resolutions have been passed without any discussions. However, the state government was adamant on not bringing any resolution,” Mannan said.

Left Front Legislature Party Leader Sujan Chakraborty slammed the TMC government for the latest decision and not holding a Question Hour.

“This will not allow us to raise our voices against issues such as the Covid-19 situation, Amphan relief fund scam, price rise, unemployment, condition of migrant workers, PDS scam and poor condition of roads. The state government does not want to have a discussion on these issues, and that’s why it has cut the session short. We have expressed our displeasure over the decision and tomorrow we will once again protest against this,” said Chakraborty.

The 294-member state assembly was adjourned sine die on March 17 as the state budget session was curtailed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Meanwhile, several MLAs, house staff and journalists underwent rapid antigen test for Covid-19 on the Assembly premises as part of safety protocols.

Speaker Biman Banerjee had last week said the session would be held in strict compliance with the ICMR guidelines and every individual would have to get tested before entering the House.

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