Just one-day sitting for monsoon session

Panaji: The forthcoming monsoon session of the state legislative assembly has been curtailed to just a one-day sitting on July 27 owing to the COVID-19 crisis. Earlier, the session had been scheduled for two weeks.

Speaker of the state legislative assembly Rajesh Patnekar chaired an all-party meeting at Porvorim on Friday.

The meeting reached a consensus on curtailing the session to only one day in view of the rising COVID positive cases in the state.

Speaking to media persons after the meeting, Patnekar said that during the assembly session over 1000 people, including MLAs and government functionaries, will converge at the assembly complex heightening the COVID risk. Hence leaders of all political parties agreed on curtailing the session to just a one-day sitting.

It was also decided to finalise business for the session at a business advisory committee meeting, which will be held in the next 10 days.

The state may have a longer assembly session in December this year, if everything comes under control.

Opposition leader Digambar Kamat, who attended the meeting, said, “The Speaker suggested that the session be curtailed to one day, which was accepted unanimously.”

Goa Forward Party chief Vijai Sardesai said that he conceded to government’s request for the daylong session to fulfil a constitutional obligation.

However, Sardesai demanded a virtual assembly session, adding that the BAC will decide on it.

He said the budget for the financial year 2020-21 presented by Chief Minister Pramod Sawant in February needs to be reset in view of the COVID-19 crisis and the austerity measures adopted by the government.

MGP MLA Ramakrishna ‘Sudin’ Dhavalikar said the Opposition also demanded that the government should release a white paper on handling of the COVID situation and the status of the state economy.

NCP MLA Churchill Alemao also attended the all-party meeting.