Amid coronavirus crisis, Monsoon Session begins with unprecedented precautions
The 18-day-long Monsoon Session of the Indian Parliament began on September 14, Monday, with unprecedented precautions, amid the raging coronavirus health crisis. Before entering the building, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to media persons, revealing that he hoped for a productive and fruitful session. He also thanked parliamentarians for choosing duty during these distinct times. Here are more details.
MPs should send a message about supporting soldiers: PM
PM Modi reiterated his message of not letting the guard down until a vaccine is developed. "We want that a vaccine is developed at the earliest from any corner of the world, our scientists succeed and we succeed in bringing everyone out of this problem," he said. He added that the parliamentarians should send an unequivocal message that the nation stands with its soldiers.
MPs were tested before session, timings were staggered
To note, last month, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla held an elaborate discussion with Health Ministry, ICMR, AIIMS, DRDO to formulate the fine-print of the session. It was decided that both Houses will have staggered timings, the Parliament will remain functional even on weekends, and all MPs, staff, etc., will be tested for coronavirus. The government also decided to cancel the crucial question hour.
MPs paid tributes to the departed, House was adjourned
Now, as the session started, MPs paid tributes to deceased politicians. They remembered former President Pranab Mukherjee, who passed away on August 31 after testing coronavirus positive, Chattisgarh's former Chief Minister Ajit Jogi, Madhya Pradesh Governor Lal Ji Tandon, Uttar Pradesh Ministers Kamal Rani and Chetan Chauhan, and former Union Minister Rahguvansh Prasad Singh. Thereafter, the Lok Sabha was adjourned for one hour.
Poor economy, coronavirus cases, and Indo-China tensions to be discussed
In all likeliness, the poor state of the Indian economy, the rising coronavirus cases, and the Chinese aggression along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) will be discussed during the session. Congress MPs Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and K Suresh have already given an Adjournment Motion notice in Lower House over the tensions with China. Separately, DMK and CPI(M) gave notices over suicides of NEET-aspirants.
Stand with our Army, but government should reveal information: Tharoor
The opposition has been criticizing the NDA-led Centre for not divulging key details related to the border dispute with China. While replying to PM Modi's call for supporting soldiers, Congress' Shashi Tharoor took the same tone. "When have they reported to us on talks between the Defense and Foreign Ministers (of India & China)? The nation needs to be taken into confidence," he opined.