A session of the West Bengal Assembly will be held next month with all COVID-19 safety norms in place, official as well as assembly sources said on Monday.
The state government has sent a proposal for resuming the assembly either from the first or the second week of September, a senior government official said, adding due precautionary measures will be ensured for conduct of the session keeping in mind spread of coronavirus in the state.
Assembly Speaker Biman Banerjee confirmed it and said plans are being chalked out for convening the house. "The session will start either in the first or the second week of the next month. We are working on how to have the session by maintaining COVID-19 protocols," he told PTI.
This will be a short session, a source in the assembly said. He said organising the session in open instead of in the legislative building is also under consideration. He, however, said for this "we have to keep in mind that its rainy season."
Asked if it would be monsoon session of the house, he said, "We will not be able to call it a monsoon session since it will not be possible to hold a long session like what we usually have during this time."
West Bengal has 295-member assembly, including one nominated member from the Anglo-Indian community. The chamber of the house of the legislative building measuring 4300 sq ft is round shaped with a capacity to accommodate 300 members.
The session will be important since the state is scheduled to go to polls early next year.
Trinamool Congress headed by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has overwhelming majority in the house.
BJP, which has emerged as the main opposition in Bengal leaving CPM and Congress behind, is vying for power in the state after its stupendous performance in the 2019 general elections when it won 18 out of total 42 Lok Sabha seats in the state, only four less than TMC which came out victorious in 22 constituencies.
The assembly source said they were aware of the challenges of holding the session amid raging Covid-19 situation so necessary precautions will be taken.
"We have to plan the session keeping in mind that an MLA has succumbed to Covid-19 and there are other members who are down with the contagion. We have so many members and cannot afford taking any risk," he said.
Talking further about the arrangements, the source said that presence of media during the session will also be regulated keeping in mind the ongoing pandemic.
"We are planning how to include media during the session. We will seek cooperation from press persons.
"There is a need to regulate their presence since huge presence of people cannot be allowed amid pandemic," the source said.