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Sharmili Mallick

The daily proceedings of the ensuing monsoon session of the Odisha Assembly, starting on September 1, will be held for five hours in two shifts, informed Speaker Surya Narayan Patro on Friday. The session will have eight working days and concludes on September 9. 

The first session will commence at 10.30 a.m. and end at 1:30 pm, while the second sitting will be held from 4 pm to 6 pm daily, said the Speaker.

Patro made the announcement following the all-party meeting held at the Lok Seva Bhawan in Bhubaneswar today. The meeting was called by the Speaker to discuss the strategies to be undertaken for the smooth business of the State Assembly while adhering to all the Covid-19 protocols.

Deputy Leader of the Opposition, Bishnu Charan Sethy, Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Narasingha Mishra and Odisha Forest and Environment Minister Bikram Keshari Arukha were among the prominent leaders who were present at the meeting.

“Earlier, the question hour was removed, but this time the Assembly will be allowed to take up starred questions. The Assembly will commence from next Saturday. On the first day of the monsoon session, the House will run from 11 am to 1.30 pm and then from 4pm to 6pm. However, the house will start at 10.30 on other working days,” the Speaker said.

The adjournment motion will be brought every day. BJP will be allowed to bring four adjournment motions while the Congress can bring two, added Patro.

The sitting arrangements will be made by following social distancing norms and other guidelines that were followed during the last Assembly session. All the MLAs and Ministers can participate in the debate either by sitting or standing, Patro informed.

The MLAs can attend the proceedings through video conferencing from OCAC building located in the premises of Lok Seva Bhawan and other feasible places. The proceedings will be completely paperless, said the Odisha Assembly Speaker.

“As the Leader of Opposition, Pradipta Naik is still in hospital due to post Covid complications, he is allowed to participate in the House proceedings from hospital bed also and arrangements for video conferencing will be made, if he wants,” said Patro.

Covid preventive kits will be distributed among the members, ministers, media persons, officials and staff of Odisha Legislative Assembly (OLA) and Secretariat who will enter the assembly premises. All the Ministers, MLAs, staff and other officials of the OLA have to undergo RT-PCR tests, said Patro.

Similarly, all the Ministers and MLAs will have to undergo antibody tests this session, added Patro.

As the session will have eight official days, both the BJP and Congress will try to corner the State Government on series of issues concerning the State.

“Issues like- drought, preventive measures to be adopted by the Odisha Government in view of the possible third wave, increase in drug abuse and deteriorating law and order in the State will be taken up during the monsoon session,” said Deputy Leader of the Opposition, Bishnu Charan Sethy.

Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Narasingha Mishra said “We will try to focus on all the problems that are being faced by the people of the State. Those include- drought-like situation, inflation, declining law and order, unemployment, corruption, shortage of drinking water, non availability of beds in hospitals and shortage of doctors and teachers,” he added.

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