No Question Hour In Winter Session Of Odisha Assembly

Bhubaneswar: The winter session of the Odisha Legislative Assembly, scheduled to begin from November 20, will have no Question Hour due to Covid-19, informed Speaker Surjya Narayan Patro on Wednesday.

After holding the all-party meeting, the Speaker said the decision to this effect was taken in view of the Covid-19 situation.

Patro said the House will run for four and a half hours every day in adherence to all Covid-19 protocols.

He said seating arrangements have been made for the members in accordance with the Covid-19 guidelines.

Senior MLAs will have the option to join the House through video conference, he added.

The legislators, staff and journalists, among others, will be allowed to enter the state assembly only if they test negative for Covid-19. The Covid-19 test was carried out at the assembly premises.

The supplementary budget for 2020-21 will be tabled on the first day of the session on November 20.

However, Opposition BJP and Congress opposed the decision to suspend the Question Hour.

Leader of Opposition Pradipta Kumar Naik said the Question Hour should have been held to enable the MLAs to raise the problems of their respective constituencies.

Congress legislature party leader Narasingha Mishra said the decision to cancel the Question Hour is undemocratic and illegal.

Meanwhile, the newly-elected BJD MLAs from Balasore Sadar and Tirtol Assembly constituencies, Swarup Das and Bijay Shankar Das, were administered oath by the Speaker on Wednesday.

They got elected in the recently concluded by-elections.