LoP Opposes Virtual Attendance Option During Winter Session Of Odisha Assembly

Bhubaneswar: After a gap of almost two years, the winter session of Odisha assembly will be held without any COVID restrictions from November 24, Speaker Bikram Keshari Arukha informed on Monday after an all-party meeting.

The house will function from 10.30 am-1 pm and again sit from 4 pm-7 pm. Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) can occupy their respective seats and also participate through video conferencing (VC) with prior written approval, he added.

Leader of opposition Jai Narayan Mishra, however, alleged that the VC option for MLAs is being allowed to facilitate virtual attendance for Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik from his residence. “COVID cases have declined in the state and therefore, there is no need for such a provision. All members are expected to remain present in the House during a session. We have expressed our objection to the 11th point in the agenda,” he said.

Amid criticism by the opposition that the CM had not been attending assembly sessions ever since the COVID-19 pandemic broke out in early 2020, Naveen in March had attended the Budget Session of the state assembly for the first time in nearly two years.

Notably, media persons will also be allowed in the press gallery. Opposition BJP and the Congress had been demanding the entry of journalists into the press gallery inside the House instead of the conference room outside the main assembly hall, where they had been covering the proceedings through video conferencing since 2020.

It is pertinent to mention here that the 11th session of the 16th Odisha Legislative Assembly will commence at 11 am on November 24 and continue till December 31. There will be 33 working days and five no-meeting days during this session of the assembly.

Also Read: Traffic Restrictions In Bhubaneswar During Winter Session Of Odisha Assembly; Check Details

The first supplementary statement of expenditure for the year 2022-23 will be presented in the House on November 24. The demands for grants for the year will be tabled on November 30 and December 1. The Appropriation Bill on the first supplementary statement of expenditure for the year 2022-23 will be presented on December 2.

The private members’ business (Bills & Resolutions) will be tabled on November 25 December 9, 16, 23, 28 and 30.

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