All members of both the Legislative Assembly and the Legislative Council have been asked to undergo a Covid-19 test and only those with negative results will be allowed to attend the session. Presiding officers of both the Houses have already announced the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), under which all legislators, employees, security staff and journalists covering the session have to undergo the tests.
Finance Minister T. Harish Rao on Friday tested positive and is under home isolation. Assembly Speaker P. Srinivas Reddy and Council Chairman G. Sukhender Reddy have also asked those having Covid symptoms not to attend the session.
Wearing of masks will be mandatory for all legislators. The personal staff of legislators will not be allowed to enter the legislature complex while one or two assistants of ministers will be permitted.
Officials said visitors will also be not allowed during the session, which is likely to continue for 20 days. The ‘media point’ in the Assembly premises, where leaders of various parties used to address media persons, has been removed to ensure social distancing.
Seating arrangements in the Assembly and the Council have also been changed to ensure that social distancing is maintained between members.
This is the first legislature session since the outbreak of Covid and the presiding officers of both the Houses are making fool-proof arrangements to prevent spread of the disease.
The main opposition Congress will be looking to corner the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government on what it calls its failure to check the spread of Covid in the state.
Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao has already said that the government is ready to discuss and debate threadbare all the issues. He directed the ministers to be prepared to place all the facts so that they would be known to the people.
A meeting he held last week with ministers and TRS legislators decided to have discussion on the containment of coronavirus and treatment of patients, crop loss due to heavy rains, the fire accident in the Srisailam Hydel Project, the achievements made in the power sector, the new Revenue Act, the illegal construction of project by Andhra Pradesh government under the name of Rayalaseema Lift Irrigation Scheme, and irrigation sector issues.
KCR, as the Chief Minister is known, said the legislature would also discuss injustices being meted out by the Centre to the state in Goods and Services Tax (GST) implementation, financial and economic losses due to the policies of the Centre, lukewarm response of the Centre to the resolutions made by the State on the reservations, agriculture sector and regulatory cultivation method.
He asked the ministers to get equipped with all the information on the issues that would come up for discussions during the session.
“The legislative Sessions should be held upholding the democratic values. There is no other platform other than the legislature to discuss matters on people’s issues and take appropriate decisions. We have to utilise this platform and opportunity. The Telangana Legislature should be held as an ideal one for others in the country to look up for inspiration. The members should analyse how the programmes and Acts implemented by the government are performing at the field level. The members should be able to point out if there was some lacunae somewhere. The government will answer each and every query raised by the members. The ruling party members also should mention about each and every issue of the people,” he said.
The legislature will also pass a resolution demanding the Centre to confer the country’s highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna, on former Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao. The chief minister had already announced this
The state government also decided to install a portrait of Narasima Rao in the Assembly and it will request the Centre install his portrait in the Parliament.
Through another resolution to be passed in the legislature, the Centre will be urged to rename the Central University of Hyderabad as P.V. Narasimha Rao Central University.