New Delhi: At a time when the Central government has allowed to go ahead with the Question Hour in the Monsoon Session of the Parliament, the West Bengal government on Friday decided to do away with it because of shortage of time and the ongoing COVID-19 situation. Also Read - NIA Arrests: 'West Bengal Has Become Home to Illegal Bomb-making,' Governor Takes Swipe at Police
“We have decided that there will be no Question Hour during the two-day monsoon session, scheduled to begin on September 9, due to paucity of time and the COVID-19 situation. Having Question Hour will mean prolonging the session for which the MLAs will have to stay back for a longer period. We do not want that during this pandemic situation,” Speaker Biman Banerjee said. Also Read - NIA Busts Major Terror Module, Arrests 9 Suspected Al-Qaeda Operatives For 'Plotting Attacks on Vital Installations'
The Assembly speaker had earlier announced that the monsoon session of the Assembly will be held from September 9 in strict compliance with the ICMR’s guidelines and every person entering the premises during the period, including lawmakers, journalists and House staffers, will have to undergo COVID-19 tests.
Moreover, the seating arrangement for the MLAs has been made with social distancing norms and no visitor will be allowed inside the House during the two-day session.
In this regard, the state government had last week sent a proposal to the speaker to convene the monsoon session either from the first or the second week of September.
The 294-member West Bengal Assembly was adjourned sine die on March 17 when the budget session was curtailed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The state on Thursday reported 2,984 new cases, pushing the total tally to 1,71,681. The number of active cases stood at 24,039 in the state.
The COVID-19 discharge rate in West Bengal rose to 84.02 per cent on Thursday after 3,335 more patients recovered from the disease.