The indefinite adjournment of parliament in view of the coronavirus outbreak is likely to continue through the winter session as it is “very unwise” to conduct parliament in the present circumstances, senior Central ministers have told NDTV. Delhi is currently witnessing an unprecedented surge in daily coronavirus numbers.
There is no urgency to have a session and the constitutional position is that parliament must meet within six months, a minister said on condition of anonymity. Parliament is expected to be convened in the last week of January ahead of the Union budget, which will be presented on February 1.
Parliament had to be adjourned ahead of schedule during the delayed monsoon session in September, after many MPs contracted Covid.
Seventeen members of the Lok Sabha and eight from the Rajya Sabha had tested positive in the mandatory tests carried out before the monsoon session of parliament started. Among the infected Lok Sabha MPs, the BJP had the maximum number — 12. The YSR Congress has two MPs, the Shiv Sena, DMK and RLP one each.
During the session, many MPs who tested negative initially, contracted the virus, including a central minister who succumbed due to Covid. The situation was becoming worse despite strict observance of safety norms including social distancing, separate shifts and regular RTPCR tests.
This time, cutting across party lines, most MPs said it is better to take preventive measures than put themselves at risk. Though there are some like Manick Tagore Congress General secretary and MP who says what is an MP to do when his MPLAds funds have been withdrawn and now no parliament is being convened.
Around 200 of the 785 MPs are above the age of 65 years and are among the population vulnerable to coronavirus.
Over the last weeks, Delhi has been witnessing a huge spike in coronavirus cases, which the Arvind Kejriwal government has called the third wave.
The daily Covid spike in the national capital had started climbing to unprecedented levels since the end of October.
On November 3, the city had logged 6,725 cases after a few weeks of low numbers. Three days later, it crossed the 7,000 mark. On November 11, the city recorded 8,593 new cases, an all-time high.