LUCKNOW: The four-day monsoon session of Uttar Pradesh legislature began on Thursday in strict compliance with Covid-19 protocol.
UP has become the first state in the country to conduct a session of legislature during the pandemic. During the four-day session, 16 ordinances are likely to get the nod of the House.
On the opening day of the session, both the Houses were adjourned till 11 am on Friday after the obituary references to the two ministers – Chetan Chauhan and Kamal Rani Varun — who lost the battle of life to the pandemic. Besides, tributes were also paid to members including Sunita Chauhan and Ram Krishna Dwivedi, and MP Governor Lalji Tandon who passed away after prolonged illness last month.
Both the Houses also paid homage to the brave hearts who lost their lives during the face-off with Chinese troops in Ladakh's Galwan Valley.
The Houses were readied to conduct a hybrid session following the norms of social distancing and leaving the option open for joining the session virtually, especially, for those who are above 65.
For the first time, the lawmakers were made to sit in the lobby and galleries also to attend the session. While the first-timers and young MLAs and MLCs were made to sit in lobbies, senior members were present in the main hall.
BJP MP from Noida Pankaj Singh, Bahraich MLAs Anupama Jaiswal, and Janmejai Singh attended the proceeding through video conferencing.
On Wednesday, one more minister and three MLAs had tested Covid positive as the Assembly was being readied to conduct the session.
Keeping in view the spread of coronavirus, the officers of the Assembly secretariat made elaborate arrangements for the hybrid session so that the maximum members could attend the proceedings from their residences.
Principal secretary, Vidhan Sabha, Pradip Dubey said that he had dispatched a letter to MLAs with a special request to those who were 65 years and above to participate in the monsoon session virtually from their residences. He added that special arrangements were made for their virtual attendance and a link was provided to all of them.
Meanwhile, for the first time, only a news agency and Doordarshan have been allowed to do live coverage of house proceedings. For other reporters, arrangements were made at Tilak Hall where they watched the proceedings on a giant screen.