No Question Hour in Odisha Assembly session; House to meet for 4hrs a day
Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Assembly will meet for four hours a day during the Monsoon Session beginning September 29, and will have no Question Hour, Speaker SN Patro said on Friday after an all-party meeting.
The members, staff and journalists, among others, will be allowed to enter the building only if they test negative for COVID-19, he said.
Twelve ordinances already approved by the state Cabinet will be tabled during the session for discussion, Patro said.
The session is scheduled to end on October 7, he said, adding that the Assembly will meet for four hours every day.
The House will meet from 10.30 am to 1 pm in the first half and then again from 3 pm to 4.30 pm.
The Assembly will transact business on Sunday as well but there will be not sitting on October 2, he said.
Patro said sitting arrangements for members have already been made keeping in view the social distancing norm.
MLAs will be seated in the Assembly hall, visitors’ gallery and the Speaker’s Gallery.
Video conferencing facility from district headquarters is available for elderly MLAs who give prior information to the Assembly secretariat, he said.
The House will be adjourned for an hour after obituary references to former President Pranab Mukherjee and former MLAs Bishnu Charan Das and Madan Mohan Dutta and some police personnel on September 29.
None other than the MLAs will get lobby passes, the speaker said.
COVID-19 tests for members, officials and journalists will start on Saturday.
The speaker also said that no papers or reports are to be distributed among members in the House except those of urgent nature such as amendments to Bills and replies of ministers.
“The papers will be distributed by Daks to the members’ quarters,” the speaker said.
While the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation will daily sanitise the Assembly Hall and premises, the Health Department will provide COVID preventive kit to the members, journalists and officials
The opposition Congress, however, condemned the decision to suspend the Question Hour.
“The decision of scraping Question Hour is illegal and unconstitutional,” said Congress Legislature Party leader Narasingha Mishra.