West Bengal Speaker Biman Bandyopadhyay on Thursday said MLAs, Assembly staff, security personnel and mediapersons would have to undergo rapid antigen tests before entering the Assembly for a short two-day monsoon session that will be held on September 9 and 10.
Bandyopadhyay told reporters that a medical camp would be established at the premises for the purpose. Only those who test negative will be allowed to enter the building. The session would be held as per ICMR guidelines, he added.
“The MLAs will have to maintain social distance and occupy specific seats that will be earmarked for them. Elderly legislators will sit in the main hall, and younger members will be asked to sit in the galleries. This time we will not be able to accommodate journalists inside the House as seats meant for them have to be kept empty to ensure social distancing. No guests will be allowed during the session. Vehicles have to be parked outside the main premises,” said the Speaker.
The tests will also be conducted on September 8, when a traditional all-party meeting is scheduled.
“We will follow all the guidelines of the ICMR and the state health department regarding Covid-19. The Assembly premises will be sanitised before the start of the session with the help from various state government departments,” Bandyopadhyay added.
Last week, the state government had proposed to the Speaker to convene the monsoon session either in the first or second week of the month. According to law, there cannot be a gap of over six months between two Assembly sessions. Since the last sitting of the House was adjourned in March, the Speaker was required to convene the monsoon session in September.
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