BENGALURU: The State government is looking for a big auditorium or an appropriate space, including private ones, that can accommodate 500 people to conduct the assembly session in September. If it chooses a private building, it will be for the first time that the government will hold the session in such
The need to maintain social distancing will not be feasible due to the seating arrangement in both the Houses at Vidhana Soudha where assembly sessions are conducted. With a sharp increase in Covid-19 cases in Bengaluru, it is not safe to conduct the session there as a large number -- 224 MLAs, 75 MLCs, officials and the media -- attend it.
Ever since Suvarna Vidhana Soudha was inaugurated in Belagavi in 2012, winter sessions were conducted there. Otherwise, sessions are held at Vidhana Soudha. In March, as per the State government’s appeal, the Assembly Speaker and the Council Chairman had to cut down the session by a few days. Under Article 174(1) of the Constitution, it mandates that there should not be a gap of more than six months between sessions. Hence, it is obligatory for the State government to conduct the session before September-end.
Speaking to The New Sunday Express, Speaker Vishveshwara Hegde Kageri said that meetings were held with Law and Parliamentary Minister J C Madhuswamy, Chief Secretary T M Vijay Bhaskar and other assembly staff in this regard. “As per rules, we have to conduct the session in September, we cannot postpone it. We are considering if the public gallery can be used.
But since numbers are large, we may require a bigger space. We are looking for a big auditorium,’’ he said.
Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Madhuswamy said they were getting many suggestions like having an online session. “We are looking at various options. In Vidhana Soudha, the assembly gallery is bigger, but need to check if we can accommodate all while maintaining social distancing. The Council gallery is ruled out as it is too small. This issue of space was discussed in the previous cabinet meet. We might look for a bigger hall,’’ Madhuswamy said.