Session commences amid pandemic: two shifts for two houses, no weekend breaks
GN Bureau | September 14, 2020
As parliament on Monday commenced its special session amid the raging Covid-19 pandemic, prime minister Narendra Modi underlined the importance of debate in the house, saying that it is “beneficial” for the country.
“Several important decisions will be taken in this session, various topics will be discussed, and our experience tells us that the more we discuss in the Lok Sabha, the more diverse the discussion is in the House, the more beneficial it is for the country and solving the issues at hand,” he told mediapersons before the start of the proceedings.
He also spoke with them on a more persona note, “I am getting to see you today after a long gap. Hope you all are doing well! Hope there isn't any crisis in your family! Well, may God bless you!”
The parliament session commences under special circumstances, Modi said, adding, “There is a corona pandemic on one hand while our obligation towards fulfilling our duties on the other; and all the MPs have chosen the path of duty. I congratulate and thank all the MPs for this initiative.”
The budget session had to be wrapped up ahead of time. This time, parliament will be functioning twice a day, once the Rajya Sabha, once the Lok Sabha. The shift timings had to be changed too. The weekend breaks on Saturday-Sundays too have been cancelled this time. But all the members have accepted this, welcomed this and have decided to continue on the path of duty, he explained.
“I believe that this time too, following that great tradition, all the MPs will come together and add value to it. Under the present situation created by corona, we have to follow the rules and move ahead with great precautions. And it is also clear that we cannot afford any laxity in our approach unless there is a medicine. We are hoping that the vaccines should come up from any corner of the world as soon as possible, our scientists become successful in this direction as soon as possible and we can succeed in getting everyone out of this crisis.”
The PM also referred to the tension along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China in recent months.
“This House, particularly this Session, has one more crucial responsibility. Today the brave soldiers of our army are on the borders. They are defending the borders with great courage and high spirits, in the difficult terrains. And the rains are going to begin in a few days. Just like the faith with which they are standing, determined to protect the motherland, these Houses and all the members of the House too will send out a message in a unanimous voice, spirit and resolve – the country stands in support of the Indian army through the Houses and the Members of Parliament. The entire House stands with the brave soldiers of the country with one voice; I believe that this House and all the honorable members too will give out a very strong message.
“I would also say that in the period of Corona, you will not get the opportunity to freely move everywhere like before, and please take care of yourselves, friends. You will get every news, it is not a difficult task for you, but please take care of yourselves, it is my personal request to all of you.”
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