A two-day monsoon session of the Maharashtra legislature will begin from July 5 amid the coronavirus outbreak, the state government said on Tuesday. Slamming the government over the short duration of the session, Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Devendra Fadnavis alleged the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) dispensation is trying to "run away" from the issues concerning the common people and also from the democratic process.
The decision on the session was taken after a meeting of the Business Advisory Committee (BAC) was held in the Vidhan Bhavan which was attended by leaders from the ruling and opposition parties, a statement from the chief minister's office (CMO) said. It said a temporary schedule for the session on July 5 and 6 was discussed, and it will be finalised in the next meeting of the BAC. The meeting was attended by Maharashtra Legislative Council chairman Ramraje Nimbalkar, deputy chairperson Dr Neelam Gorhe, deputy speaker of the Assembly Narhari Zirwal, deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar, leader of opposition in the Assembly Devendra Fadnavis, leader of opposition in the Council Pravin Darekar and parliamentary affairs minister Anil Parab among others. The CMO statement said a RT-PCR test report will be mandatory for those coming to the Vidhan Bhavan premises, irrespective of them having completed both doses of Covid-19 vaccines, with the Vidhan Bhavan itself holding a RT-PCT test drive on July 3 and 4.
It said ministers can be accompanied by only one person each, while entry for private citizens is restricted. Other rules include only one member being allowed to sit on a bench, while the rest will have to use the visitor's gallery.
It also said that each member of the legislature will get a kit from the government containing a face shield, mask, gloves and sanitizer. Speaking to reporters after attending the BAC meeting, Fadnavis said the Opposition was surprised to see that the government is planning to hold the session for two days only. The former Maharashtra chief minister also said BJP leaders walked out of the BAC meeting in protest against the short duration of the sitting.
"There is no place left for us to raise the voice of the common people. The two-day long session will be too short for us to raise various issues, the plight of people, farmers, students as well as the law and order situation in the state. This government has turned the democratic processes into a circus," he alleged.