Lok Sabha proceedings delayed due to protests in RS
According to the new protocol adopted due to the Covid-19 pandemic, MPs of one house are asked to sit in the other House in order to maintain social distancing to reduce the risk of infection.Updated: Sep 20, 2020, 23:40 IST
Protests by MPs in the Rajya Sabha on Sunday took a rare toll on the proceedings of the Lok Sabha as a crucial debate on the Covid-19 situation was delayed.
According to the new protocol adopted due to the Covid-19 pandemic, MPs of one house are asked to sit in the other House in order to maintain social distancing to reduce the risk of infection. As a result, Lok Sabha MPs allotted seats in the Rajya Sabha were unable to sit for the session as the chamber was occupied by the protesting MPs.
The Lok Sabha proceedings were scheduled to start at 3 pm. However, with opposition MPs protesting against the three farm laws in the Rajya Sabha, Congress floor leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury appealed to the Speaker to delay the discussion on Covid-19.
Inclined to start the debate at the scheduled time, Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla assured the House that any MP who can’t find a seat in the other House, will be accommodated in the Lok Sabha galleries and the chamber.
Chowdhury, however, persisted and Birla agreed to halt the proceeding for an hour. The Congress leader said the magnanimity of the Speaker will set an “example”.
During the debate on the situation arising out of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Congress lashed out at the government.
Congress leader Shashi Tharoor described India as the poster child for the worst-case scenario, saying, “We have the worst of both sides. We have neither managed to stop or limit the spread of the virus nor have managed to keep the economy afloat. The GDP for the first time in 41 years will actually shrink and our employment crisis has become even worst than before.”
Reacting to the Congress attack, BJP member Kirit Solanki highlighted various welfare schemes announced by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government. He said the poor were provided free food grains and cash incentives during the lockdown.
Solanki said the country has so far tested five crore people for coronavirus of which 1.5 crore tests were conducted in the last two weeks.
The BJP member also pointed out that 33 crore poor people were given Rs 31,235 crore through the direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) and the beneficiaries include farmers, women and senior citizens.