For the monsoon session of the state legislature, the Maharashtra government has decided to conduct the RT-PCR (reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) test on September 6 for legislators and those who will test negative will be allowed to attend the session.
The state government has also decided to hold the session for only two days — September 7 and 8. Earlier, the session was deferred twice — on June 22 and August 3 — due to the outbreak of Covid-19. This would be perhaps the first time that the monsoon session will be held for two days.
The decisions were taken in the Business Advisory Committee meeting held on Tuesday that was attended by Assembly Speaker Nana Patole, legislative council chairman Ramraje Nimbalkar, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Devendra Fadnavis with others.
Officials said that the session will be held by adhering to social distancing norms and necessary safety measures. The RT-PCR tests of all members — Legislative Assembly and Council — will be conducted on September 6 and those who test negative will be allowed to attend the House, said an official.
The official further said that the legislators’ seating arrangements will also be made in the visitors’ gallery and the student gallery of the House to comply with social distancing norms. “As a safety measure, each legislator will be given a safety kit. The kit will include items such as face shields, masks, hand gloves, sanitizers, etc,” the official added.
The party group leaders should give instructions to the legislators on how to take care of comorbidity. However, the legislators’ personal assistants (PAs) will not be allowed into the House. But, the seating arrangement for PAs and drivers will be made in a tent in the state legislature premises.
Rajendra Bhagwat, secretary of the state legislature, said the government would soon decide on whether to conduct RT-PCR or other tests for government officials attending the session, PAs, and drivers of legislators and others.
Bhagwat said that the session will discuss mourning proposals, unstarred questions, supplementary demands and appropriation Bills. In all, it will include seven government Bills and an appropriation Bill, he added.