The monsoon session of the Uttar Pradesh Legislature will take place from August 20, even in the midst of the increasing prevalence of coronavirus infection. Legislative Speaker Hriday Narayan Dixit on Thursday prepared an action plan to conduct the session in a meeting with the leaders of opposition parties.
Dixit said that the session would be held as per the social distancing protocol for the COVID pandemic as announced by the Central government. He also informed that Parliamentary Affairs Minister Suresh Khanna, Assembly speaker said Rakesh Singh of the Samajwadi Party, Lalji Verma of the Bahujan Samaj party attended the meeting while Aradhana Mishra, leader of the Congress communicated over the phone that she was unable to attend the meeting as her private secretary was infected by the virus. Also, the leader of Apna Dal Neel Ratan Patel and Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party leader Om Prakash Rajbhar communicated to the assembly secretariat that they were unable to attend the meeting for unavoidable reasons.
Talking about the plans to conduct the assembly session Dixit said that there will be no provision for the refreshment of MLAs with ministers in the monsoon session of the Legislature starting on 20 August. In the meeting of party leaders, it was decided to keep the cafeteria closed and make it mandatory for legislators to wear masks. In order to maintain physical distance in the house, it was agreed to make sitting arrangements for the legislators in the spectator gallery.
Dixit said that during the corona epidemic period, the Legislative Assembly session could not be convened in any state other than Madhya Pradesh. In such a situation, the proposed session in Uttar Pradesh will set the standard for other states. Sanitization of all MLAs and other staff will be done before entering the house and it will be mandatory to apply the mask.
Speaking to a leading daily after an all-party meeting on Thursday, speaker Hriday Narayan Dixit said, “UP assembly will set an example on how to conduct the session in challenging conditions to legislate on important matters.”
“I am confident that all our members will set an example before the country and ensure that serious issues of public concern can be addressed in the session. We hope that there will be no disruption during this brief session,” he added.
The Speaker told that during the session which starts from August 20, all types of special id cards issued to former MLAs and all other types of entry passes will stand null and void. The speaker informed that thermal scanners will be installed at the entrances and all the protocols and guidelines related to Corona will be followed seriously as other states will also be keeping a close eye on the UP-assembly session. In such a situation, cooperation from all party leaders will be required, concluded Hriday Narayan Dixit.
Uttar Pradesh will be the first state to have a regular session during the epidemic. The last Vidhan Sabha session took place in February. Legislative Assembly Principal Secretary Pradeep Kumar Dubey said that special filters would be used in the central air conditioning system to prevent the spread of the virus.
It has been reported that during this session MLAs will be seated in various galleries including the Press Gallery to follow social distancing. And for this very reason cancellation of media passes is also on cards.
During the brief monsoon session, the UP legislature is expected to pass the first supplementary budget of the current fiscal 2020-21 and around a dozen of Bill’s for which Ordinances have been promulgated when the houses were not in session.