The Uttarakhand Assembly’s Business Advisory Committee Sunday decided to cut down the duration of the forthcoming Monsoon Session to one day and remove the Question Hour. This came as several MLAs, including the Speaker and Leader of Opposition, tested positive for Covid-19,
Speaker Prem Chand Aggarwal, in fact, tested positive just hours before the BAC and all-party meetings on Sunday. He has isolated himself.
Deputy Speaker Raghunath Singh Chauhan chaired both meetings. He will also chair the one-day session to be held on September 23.
The state cabinet had earlier proposed a three-day session from September 23.
Senior Congress leader and Leader of Opposition Indira Hridayesh tested positive on Saturday. Congress MLA from Dharchula, Harish Singh, too, has tested positive. The party’s state unit chief, Pritam Singh, an MLA from Chakrata, is in home isolation with his test report awaited.
“We wanted to run the complete session. But in view of current scenario of Covid-19 pandemic and some MLAs already infected with the virus, I appealed to the committee to hold the session for one day and that too without a Question Hour. Members of both the ruling side and the Opposition have agreed to that,” Deputy Speaker Chauhan told The Indian Express.
He said a total of 1,058 questions have been received from MLAs and answers will be sent to them in writing only.
Only 30 members will sit in House benches and maintain a distance of six feet from each other. Ten members, meanwhile, will sit in the media gallery. The remaining 30 members will be seated in an adjoining hall where they will watch the proceedings on a TV screen and submit their remarks from there.
Arrangements have also been made in the districts headquarters so that MLAs can connect to proceedings from there, if they wish. There will be no entry for the media and all MLAs as well as Vidhan Sabha secretariat staff will undergo Covid-19 test form Monday. Only four or five officers including Chief Secretary and DGP will sit in the house.
While the state government is insistent on pushing around 20 Bills through, Congress MLA and Deputy leader of Opposition Karan Mahara said adjournment motions will be moved on key issues including the Covid-19 pandemic situation and other natural calamities, unemployment, inflation, and law and order. A discussion is unlikely on these motions, sources said.
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