Minister, 3 legislators test Covid-19 positive ahead of monsoon session
With the state legislature’s monsoon session set to begin today under the shadow of Covid-19, a minister and three legislators tested positive for the coronavirus disease on Wednesday.
The minister of state for medium and small-scale Industries Chaudhary Udaybhan Singh tested positive for Covid-19 during the mandatory ahead of the Vidhan Sabha session.
Chief medical officer of Lucknow, Dr RP Singh, said, “The minister has been admitted to Rajdhani Covid Hospital at Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences, where a team of doctors is taking care of him.”
Members of legislative assembly (MLA) Tejpal Nagar and Sanju Devi, and an MLC, Parvez Ali, also tested positive according to Vidhan Sabha officials.
The latest development comes in the backdrop of major opposition parties demanding a debate on the pandemic, besides the law and order situation, during the monsoon session.
“Yes, a discussion on Covid-19 and the law and order situation is the need of the hour. The state government did not concede our demand for a debate on the issue when the first few cases of Covid-19 were reported. It has convened the House to serve its own interest and get some bills passed. We will raise these issues as the situation has worsened,” said the leader of opposition Ram Govind Chaudhary, following an all-party meeting convened by speaker Hriday Narayan Dikshit on Wednesday to seek their cooperation for smooth proceedings.
Chaudhary did not attend the all-party meeting and will keep away from the session. Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Narendra Verma represented him at the meeting.
Chief minister Yogi Adityanath and minister for parliamentary affairs, Suresh Khanna, represented the government at the meeting. Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Lalji Verma, Congress leader Aradhana Mishra, Apna Dal (Sone Lal) leader Neel Ratan Patel and Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP) leader Om Prakash Rajbhar attended the meeting.
Verma and Mishra echoed similar sentiments, saying that their parties would demand a debate on Covid-19 and the law and order situation, besides raising the problems of farmers and the flood fury.
The chief minister said the monsoon session, which was convened during the pandemic to meet the constitutional responsibility of holding House sittings within six months of the last, would provide an occasion for debate.
During the three-day session, the state government also proposes to get bills passed to replace 17 ordinances promulgated after the last session, besides a few others. The state government is likely to present the first supplementary demand of grants for 2020-2021 during the session. On the first day, the House will be adjourned after paying homage to former Madhya Pradesh governor Lalji Tandon, two ministers Kamla Rani Varun and Chetan Chauhan, along with its two sitting members Virendra Singh Sirohi and Paras Nath Yadav.
Earlier, Dikshit said members in the 60 plus age group or women, who may not be able to attend the session, would not be considered absent and requested leaders to convey this message to their members. He said the UP legislature was the first legislature in the country to hold its session during the pandemic, as those in other states, such as Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, had held meetings for a motion of confidence.
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