Bhubaneswar: For smooth conduct of the businesses during upcoming budget session of Odisha Assembly, Speaker B.K. Arukha held an all-party meeting here on Monday.
Speaking to media persons after the meeting, Arukha said all the members can attend the Assembly proceedings occupying their respective seats. The MLAs, who are unwell, can attend the Assembly through video-conferencing (VC) mode, he said.
The Press gallery will also be opened for media persons. This time, it was decided to allow the general public to witness the Assembly proceedings as it was done during pre-Covid time, Arukha said.
The Speaker hoped that members from all parties would allow the House to function smoothly and raise public interest issues properly during the budget session.
However, the principal opposition party BJP objected to the decision of the Speaker to allow members to attend the House through VC mode.
“During the Covid-19 pandemic, the members were attending the Assembly through VC. But, now Covid is over and such practice is neither allowed in Parliament nor in any other state Assembly. So, we requested the Speaker to ask all members to physically attend the House. But they rejected our proposal,” said Leader of Opposition, Jayanarayan Mishra.
If all members will attend the House physically, the quorum can be maintained, he said.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Niranjan Pujari said the discussion was held on a 14-point agenda and all the points were decided on consensus.
Meanwhile, Odisha DGP Sunil Bansal reviewed the security arrangements made for the budget session. Bansal said three-tier security cover will be put in place in and around the Assembly for the session
The inside cordon will be looked after by the special branch, while the commissionerate police will look after the outer and inner cordons, he said.
Besides, five police control rooms have been set up and proper traffic arrangements have also been made, the DGP informed.
Cuttack-Bhubaneswar police commissioner Saumendra Priyadarshi said about 30 platoons of police force including two DCPs, 10 additional DCPs, 11 ACPs, 13 inspectors will be deployed for the session.
Tight security arrangements have also been made at Mahatma Gandhi Marg, where a large number of protests are held when the Assembly session is underway, he added.
The budget session will be held in two phases – first phase from February 21 to March 1 and second phase from from March 10 to April 6.
The session will start with the address of Governor Ganeshi Lal on February 21 while the annual budget for the year 2023-24 will be presented on February 24.