Opposition parties object to proposed PM Modi’s joint address on Covid-19 to MPs at Parliament annexe

Leaders, including from the Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the CPI(M), also said that when the Covid pandemic and issues related to it can be discussed on the floor of the House, what was the need to go “outside”.

Opposition parties on Sunday objected to the government’s offer for a joint address to all MPs by the prime minister on Covid at the Parliament annexe, saying this will be “highly irregular” at a time when Parliament will be in session and it aims to “bypass” norms.

Leaders, including from the Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the CPI(M), also said that when the Covid pandemic and issues related to it can be discussed on the floor of the House, what was the need to go “outside”. The annexe is a separate building within the premises of the Parliament complex.

In an all-party meeting on Sunday, a day before the Monsoon Session of Parliament begins, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prahlad Joshi announced that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address MPs of both the Houses — Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha — on July 20 and speak on the pandemic. “What is the need to go outside Parliament? Any address should be on the floor of the House. This is another idea to bypass Parliament. Stop making a mockery of the Parliament. How far will Modi and (Union Home Minister Amit) Shah go? Just when we thought that they cannot go lower, they want to make a presentation in the annexe and not on the floor of the House,” TMC Rajya Sabha member Derek O’Brien, who was at the meeting, said.

The meeting was attended by 33 parties ahead of the Monsoon session which will conclude on August 13. “MPs do not want fancy power point presentations on COVID-19 from the PM or this government in some conference room. Parliament will be in session. Come to the floor of the House,” O’Brien said.

 

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