The monsoon session of the Haryana Vidhan Sabha will begin Wednesday even as Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, Speaker Gian Chand Gupta and Transport Minister Mool Chand Sharma will give it a miss having been tested positive for novel coronavirus.
BJP MLAs Lakshman Napa, Ram Kumar Kashyap and Aseem Goel too also tested positive as have six Assembly staffers, Deputy Speaker Ranbir Gangwa, who will be presiding over the House proceedings in Gupta absence, Tuesday said.
However, it was not clear that in Khattar’s absence, who shall be the Leader of the House. “It is chief minister’s prerogative to appoint Leader of the House in his absence,” Gangwa said.
Khattar, who was tested positive for the infection Monday, is currently admitted to Gurgaon’s Medanta Hospital, where his condition is stable, an official said.
During the past two weeks, Haryana has seen a spike in infection cases, which are close to the 55,000-mark with over 600 fatalities.
The Vidhan Sabha Tuesday released a two-day tentative schedule. The session will begin at 2 pm on Wednesday with obituary references. Sources said the attendance was “likely to be thin”.
“Several MLAs have suggested that we should curtail the session to just one sitting. The final decision in this regard will be taken by the Business Advisory Committee Wednesday,” Gangwa said.
Besides the MLAs and officials requiring a coronavirus negative certificate to gain entry into the Assembly complex, seating arrangement has also been changed to ensure social distancing in the 90-member House.
“We are ensuring all precautions. Members will be provided with face masks, hand gloves, sanitisers, shoe covers etc to keep them safe. All the papers to be laid on the table of the House will be first sanitised and then distributed to the members. We have already twice sanitised the entire premises,” Gangwa said, adding the process will be repeated again.
Haryana Congress chief Kumari Selja, who reached Vidhan Sabha complex to attend Congress Legislature Party meeting to formulate party’s strategy for the session, welcomed protocol put in place to tackle the infection.
“It is necessary that everyone remains safe amid the pandemic,” she said.
The Congress legislators were allowed entry into the complex after they produced a COVID-19 negative certificate.
The Assembly is meeting for the first time since the Budget session held in February-March this year. The House has to meet at least once in six months to fulfil the constitutional requirement of holding a session within six months of the previous one
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