Shimla, Aug 18 (PTI) The Himachal Pradesh Assembly will have a 12-day session next month, an official said here on Tuesday.
This will be the first session of the state Assembly after the coronavirus-triggered lockdown/curfew had been imposed on March 24.
The ninth session of the 13th state assembly will be held from September 7 to 18, assembly Secretary Yash Paul Sharma said.
Issuing notification in this regard, Governor Bandaru Dattatraya earlier stated that the assembly session would begin on September 7 at 2 pm.
In a press-note issued later, the assembly secretary said there would be a total of 10 sittings in the next session.
Assembly Speaker Vipin Singh Parmar, meanwhile, urged all members of the legislative assembly to participate in discussions of public interest in the session while following COVID-19 guidelines.
Earlier in July, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur stated that the next Assembly session might be convened in September.
Speaking to media personnel after the oath-taking ceremony of three new ministers at the Raj Bhawan here on July 30, Thakur said if the effect of COVID-19 pandemic reduces in the state, the government would consider convening the Assembly session in September.
Responding to a question, the chief minister said the Budget session was adjourned midway on March 23 when there were only two novel coronavirus cases in the state.
At the same time, he had added 'Now there are over 2,400 total cases and around 1,050 active cases in the state, so all this has to be considered.' As per norms, the Assembly session has to be convened at least once in six months, he said, adding that the Budget session had been adjourned on March 23, so the next session should be convened before September 23.
Normally the monsoon session of the state Assembly is convened after August 15. We will consider convening it in September if the number of COVID-19 cases reduce, he added.
Over 20 MLAs from both the ruling BJP and the opposition Congress had submitted a memorandum to Speaker Vipin Singh Parmar in May demanding a special assembly session to discuss the COVID-19 situation.
At that time, Parmar told PTI that around 25-30 MLAs of BJP and Congress had submitted a written request to convene the special Assembly session to discuss the virus situation in the state.
Later in June, lone CPI(M) MLA Rakesh Singha also demanded convening of a special session of the Assembly to discuss the handling of COVID-19 in the state.
Singha said the special Assembly session should be called to discuss whether or not health infrastructure has been adequately strengthened in the state to properly handle COVID-19.
On March 23, the state Assembly was adjourned sine die midway amid COVID-19 scare while the Budget session was supposed to continue till April 1. The remaining seven sittings were suspended unanimously in view of the coronavirus outbreak. PTI DJI CK