Monsoon session of Bihar bicameral legislature to be held at Gyan Bhawan

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Published: July 25, 2020 7:39 PM

The Parliamentary Affairs Department issued a notification in this regard on Saturday after receiving consent of Governor Phagu Chauhan.

While Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, his deputy Sushil Kumar Modi and former chief minister Rabri Devi are members of the council, RJD's Tejashwi Yadav is the leader of the opposition in the assembly.While Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, his deputy Sushil Kumar Modi and former chief minister Rabri Devi are members of the council, RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav is the leader of the opposition in the assembly. (File image)

The monsoon session for both houses in bicameral legislature of Bihar from August 3 will be held at the sprawling Gyan Bhawan in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The four-day session of the Legislative Assembly and the Legislative Council will be conducted on separate floors of the Gyan Bhawan at the Samrat Ashok International Convention Centre here.

The session of the two houses is crucial as it would be the last one before Bihar goes to polls in October-November this year.

The Parliamentary Affairs Department issued a notification in this regard on Saturday after receiving consent of Governor Phagu Chauhan.

Assembly Speaker Vijay Kumar Choudhary told PTI that conducting a session in the Vidhan Sabha was not feasible because of limited space where maintaining social distancing was not possible and hence, it was decided to organise the session in the spacious state government-owned Gyan Bhawan.

“The hall on the second floor in the Gyan Bhawan has a seating capacity of 800. All 243 members of the assembly can be comfortably accommodated while maintaining COVID protocols,” the speaker said.

Choudhary said the entire premises will be regularly sanitised and there would be adequate arrangements of sanitisers for the members during the session.

Like the assembly, the Bihar Legislative Council will meet for its monsoon session at the Gyan Bhawan due to the pandemic.

“The Bihar Legislative Council will now meet at the Gyan Bhawan in view of the coronavirus pandemic. Since there is paucity of space there (Council Chamber), it has been decided to organise the session at the Gyan Bhawan where social distancing norm can be maintained easily,” Bihar Legislative Council Acting Chairman Awadhesh Narain Singh told PTI.

Singh, who has recovered from coronavirus infection and returned to his home recently, said he is fit now and will chair the house proceedings.

The Legislative Council has a total of 75 members.

While Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, his deputy Sushil Kumar Modi and former chief minister Rabri Devi are members of the council, RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav is the leader of the opposition in the assembly.

For the first time, the session of the Bihar Legislature will be conducted outside the legislature premises.

The decision has been necessitated amid the rising COVID-19 cases the state.

According to a health department bulletin on Saturday, the total number of COVID-19 cases in Bihar has reached 36,314 and 232 patients have lost their lives.

The pandemic has affected a number of lawmakers in the state.

BJP MLC Sunil Kumar Singh died of coronavirus at AIIMS in the state capital on Tuesday. He was 66.

Two Bihar ministers — Shailesh Kumar and Vinod kumar Singh — have tested positive for the disease.

Besides, around half a dozen legislators have tested positive for COVID-19.

After the Legislative Council’s acting chairman had tested positive for the virus, the chief minister, his deputy Sushil kumar Modi and Speaker Choudhary had also sent their swab samples for test as they had shared dais with Singh during the oath-taking ceremony of the newly elected MLCs here on July 1.

Later, all of them tested negative.

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