As 3 parties stay away amid Covid-19 outbreak, Rajya Sabha adjourns Budget session ahead of schedule
Signalling its intent for an early closure of the session, the government has listed the Finance Bill for passage in the Lok Sabha on Monday. Last week, it was dropped from the list of business while four other bills were added to the government’s agenda.Updated: Mar 23, 2020 15:12 IST
Leaders of various parties, in a meeting convened by Rajya Sabha chairperson Venkaiah Naidu agreed on adjournment of the House ahead of schedule in view of the gravity of situation in the wake of coronavirus outbreak, official said.
Naidu said that earlier it was thought that Parliament should function as per schedule so as to send out a message that MPs didn’t shirk their responsibility in the hour of challenge but there’s a need for rethink in view of recent developments following the rapid spread of the virus.
He then called for the views of leaders and they suggested adjournment after transacting essential financial business given constitutional implications, officials said.
The Centre and state governments have decided to completely shutdown 75 districts across the country where people have tested p[positive for coronavirus.
Earlier, a Congress Rajya Sabha member expressed his inability to come to the House on Monday after three parties had declared that they will not attend Parliament’s ongoing session .
“I am sorry esteemed chairman of Rajya Sabha - My family is not allowing me to break the isolation rule and attend Parliament today. Shud hv adjourned last week ! Please excuse my absence. Concern of many others too,” tweeted Vivek Tankha.
Naidu and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla both called meetings of government and Opposition leaders at 1.30 pm on Monday in their chambers to take a call on adjourning the budget session scheduled to be held till April 3.
Signalling its intent for an early closure of the session, the government has listed the Finance Bill for passage in the Lok Sabha on Monday. Last week, it was dropped from the list of business while four other bills were added to the government’s agenda.
The decision came on the day the Trinamool Congress (TMC), the second-largest opposition party in Parliament, and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) asked their lawmakers to return to their constituencies.
Trinamool MP Derek O’Brien, who is staying away from Parliament, tweeted on Sunday: “Govt advisory asks people 65+ to stay home. Sunday curfew announced. And yet! Why is #Parliament running? Why this confused messaging? About 44% MPs in RS and 22% MPs in LS are 65 and above. Ignore advisory?”
The Shiv Sena leadership too has asked its MPs to stay in their respective constituencies to help raise awareness against the deadly coronavirus.