Hugs and handshakes missing as Telangana Assembly begins

Hugs and handshakes missing as Telangana Assembly begins
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Hugs and handshakes missing as Telangana Assembly begins

Highlights

Houses lack usual bonhomie

Hyderabad: The bonhomie that used to be witnessed on the first day of the session of the Legislative Assembly and Council, where legislators used to greet each other with a warm hug, shake hands, exchange jokes and pleasantries, was missing as the monsoon session has been convened under difficult times while the world is still grappling with coronavirus.

The members greeted each other with traditional Namaskarams. "We cannot even convey to our friends that we are smiling at them thanks to the ubiquitous masks," a member quipped. There were unprecedented preventive and protective measures due to deadly pandemic.

The Assembly and Council have put a 'No Entry' boards for the invisible enemy called Covid 19. All legislators, staff, police and media had to undergo Covid tests before the session began. Inside the House, physical distancing was strictly maintained. Airconditioners, it is said, have been fitted with special filters to provide protection from the virus. To top it all use of hand sanitisers and face masks has been made mandatory. All members were asked to show their test reports sent to their mobile phones. No one was allowed to stand in the lobbies or the walkways.

Inside the Assembly and Council halls, one person was allowed to sit on one seat. A cross mark was pasted on the other seat.

The attenders in the Assembly hall were made to wear face shields along with masks to avoid close contact. The usual media interactions and briefings were banned. Only one from each organisation was permitted to cover the proceedings and they too had to undergo the mandatory Covid test.

Meanwhile, the Business Advisory Committee decided to work till September 28 with four holidays during the session. While the Question Hour will be limited to six questions and will be of only one-hour duration, the Zero Hour will be limited to half an hour. The proceedings on the second day – Tuesday – will include government businesses and resolutions. There will be short discussions on important issues on Wednesday and all other days. There is a possibility of the government taking up the new Revenue Bill for discussion on Thursday and Friday. The Assembly will not be working for four days during the entire session, on September 12 (Saturday) and on September 13, 20 and 27 being Sundays.

CLP Leader Bhatti Vikramarka demanded discussions on issues such as Covid-19, sharing of Krishna river water with AP, the Telangana Layout and Building Regularisation Scheme, sanction of universities, belt shops, podu cultivation, demolition of old the secretariat, SC, ST and BC sub-plans and new education policy. The government agreed to it.

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