Convene special Parliament session on Covid, Congress to President Kovind
Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Monday asked President Ram Nath Kovind to convene a special session of Parliament to discuss the Covid pandemic and come up with steps to ease the suffering of people.
The senior Baharampur Lok Sabha member’s letter to President Kovind comes at a time the second wave of coronavirus disease continues to rage across the country. On Sunday, the country had reported over 366,000 fresh cases, pushing the number of active Covid cases to 3.7 million and severely straining the health sector.
The infection, according to official records, has led to over 2,46,116 deaths but most experts agree that a large number of deaths have gone unreported.
“In this critical situation I would urge your kind conscience to convene a special (Covid crisis) session of Parliament because India consists of a number of constituencies and each member of Parliament representing his/her constituency from the respective state has some say about the condition of people therein and in order to find a way to ease the lives of suffering people,” Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, who heads the Congress party in the Lok Sabha said.
“Corona pandemic in the country is in a grave situation and you must be well informed about the exact scenario. In this critical situation I would urge your kind conscience to convene a special (Covid crisis) session of Parliament,” the lawmaker said in his letter to President Kovind.
Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury added that the session was needed as “India consists of a number of constituencies and each Member of Parliament represents his/her constituency from respective State has some say about the condition of people therein and in order to find a way to ease lives of suffering people”.
Many opposition leaders have also demanded that parliament should hold a special sitting and that this should be held virtually.
To be sure, the power to convene a session of Parliament rests with the government. The decision to convene the session has to be taken by the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs headed by defence minister Rajnath Singh. The presidential notification follows the cabinet committee’s decisions.
India does not have a fixed parliamentary calendar. By convention, Parliament meets for three sessions in a year- the Budget Session, the Monsoon Session and the Winter Session. A special session is when the Parliament meets outside the normal legislative sessions. Special sessions can be convened to complete an unfinished task or to address special topics, or emergencies such as war or natural disaster.
In April, Shiv Sena’s Rajya Sabha Sanjay Raut had also demanded a two-day session on Covid-19, underlining that the second wave of coronavirus cases had led to “an unprecedented and almost a war-like situation”.
“Utmost confusion and tension everywhere. No beds, no oxygen and no vaccination as well. It’s nothing but total chaos. A special session of parliament for at least two days should be called to discuss the situation.”