New Delhi: At this time of corona crisis, Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Monday during a meeting discussed a way forward to hold the monsoon session of Parliament with coronavirus-induced norms like social distancing. Both the leaders also explored the idea of holding ‘virtual Parliament’ as an option in the long run. Also Read - Amid Coronavirus, Central Hall Likely to Host Proceedings of Monsoon Session of Parliament
During the meeting, both the presiding officers underscored the need to adopt technology to hold Parliament sessions to tide over situations when regular meetings are not possible. Also Read - 2 Floors of Parliament Annexe Building Sealed After Official Tests Positive For COVID-19
Both the leaders, however, said that it would be necessary to refer the issue of virtual meetings of parliamentary committees to the Rules Committees of both the Houses in view of the confidentiality aspect of the deliberations. Also Read - Will Monsoon Session of Parliament be Held on Time This Year? Here’s What Lok Sabha Speaker Says
As per updates, a number of options are being considered at the moment including holding the meeting of Lok Sabha in the Central Hall, with the Rajya Sabha, which has less members than the lower house, shifting to the chamber of Lok Sabha. Also the sittings of both the Houses can be held on alternate days.
Understanding that the fight against the coronavirus is likely to be a long haul, Naidu chaired the meeting at his official residence which was also attended by the Secretary Generals of both the houses.
The presiding officers directed the Secretary Generals to examine the feasibility of using the central hall of Parliament appropriately to ensure social distancing norms during the upcoming monsoon session.
The Parliament usually meets in July-August for the monsoon session. It was adjourned sine die on March 24, ahead of schedule, amid growing concerns over the COVID-19 outbreak.
(With PTI Inputs)