The Haryana Vidhan Sabha Secretariat has started looking at the possibility of holding the Monsoon Session of the Assembly at an alternate location if the coronavirus pandemic continues for long. The Monsoon Session is normally convened in August or September.
At least eight Congress MLAs have suggested to Speaker Gian Chand Gupta to hold the session so that they can raise issues of their assembly constituencies. For the past two days, Gupta is interacting with the legislators to seek their suggestions on various issues.
The Assembly Session is held in the Vidhan Sabha complex, which has seats for all 90 MLAs but if the pandemic continues, then it would be difficult to follow the social distancing norms in the House. This situation has prompted the Vidha Sabha Secretariat to consider alternates. The Speaker told The Indian Express that they have two options. “One, we can hold the session at the Vidhan Sabha complex itself by using the space of visitors gallery and VIP gallery for the sitting plan along with the space of the House. Cordless mikes can be arranged for all the MLAs,” said Gupta.
In second option, according to the Speaker, the session may be held at Indradhanush auditorium of Panchkula where separate space may be earmarked for the seats of treasury and opposition members.
“We are ready to hold the session while following the norms of social distancing. But it depends on the government whether it will call the session in these circumstances. We will wait for a formal communication from the government in this regard,” said the Speaker.
During a video conferencing with the Speaker, MLA Neeraj Sharma suggested, “During the lockdown period, session of the Assembly can be called while observing social distancing. One third of the 90 MLAs can attend the session from Vidhan Sabha complex while remaining can be connected with the session from MLAs’ hostel with the help of technology.”
While raising their grievances, the legislators alleged that the officers don’t attend their phone calls on the pretext of the lockdown. “Even if they pick up phones, they don’t act upon the issues raised by us,” the legislators informed the Speaker. Taking it seriously, Gupta asked the MLAs to give their complaints in writing. “I will take cognizance of such issues and the same would be tabled before the privileges committee of the Assembly which may initiate disciplinary action against the guilty officers. The officers must understand that they are public servant while the legislators are elected representatives. It’s duty of the legislators to tell the works of public importance to the officers. Stern action will be taken, if anybody neglects the works as suggested by the MLAs,” said Gupta.
Despite a recovery rate of 66.63 per cent in the coronavirus cases, the state still has 333 active cases. The state has witnessed as many as 15 deaths due to the pandemic.
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