Bhubaneswar: Even as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread and almost four months have passed since the last session of Odisha Assembly was held, speculation is rife about the next session.
As per the constitutional provisions and parliamentary practices, there should not be more than six months’ gap between two sessions of a state Assembly. Since the last session (budget session) of the Odisha Assembly was held on March 30 last year, it is due to meet in September this year.
But Assembly Speaker Surjya Narayan Patro said the date of monsoon session of the Assembly is yet to be decided.
Speaking to mediapersons, Patro said, “I have consulted with Lok Sabha Speaker and Parliament secretaries in this regard over phone. If Parliament session commences during COVID-19, the distance between two members should be at least 12 feet as per the COVID-19 protocols. However, they are yet to make any preparation for the Parliament session.”
However, Patro ruled out the possibility of holding the Assembly session in July considering the COVID-19 situation in Odisha. He has already deferred the meetings of the committees and sub-committees of the Assembly.
The Speaker had adjourned the budget session of the Assembly from March 13 till March 29 in view of the coronavirus outbreak. The House was later convened for a day on March 30 to pass the annual budget for 2020-21 without discussion.
Some states have already made their plans on Assembly session amid COVID-19. While the Speaker of Uttar Pradesh Assembly has said next session may be held through video conference, Goa Assembly Speaker has curtailed the session to one day.
Last year, the monsoon session of Odisha Assembly had begun on September 4.