Harish Gupta (National Editor, Lokmat Group)
New Delhi, June 29
The government has decided to hold the Parliament’s Monsoon session as per provisions of the Constitution mandating no gap of more than six months between the two sessions.
Setting aside all such speculations, the government will now hold the session in August-September rather than July-August. The Monsoon session has to be held before September 22 as Budget session was curtailed on March 23.
The precise dates will be announced after taking into account the pandemic which the experts believe will peak out by July 10-15 and starts flattening. The government is also expecting that diplomatic level talks with China may also bear some fruits.
However, a couple of issues have been crystallized after a series of discussions at various levels in the government and also among presiding officers of the two houses for the past few weeks.
One, the session will be of a short duration.
Two; there will be no Lok Sabha session in the Central Hall of Parliament and Rajya Sabha MPs being shifted to the Lok Sabha chambers.
Three; a proposal to hold LS session at Vigyan Bhawan was also found unworkable after a great deal of exercise due logistics.
Four; It has also been decided that “virtual Parliament session” is not feasible at least during 2020 as no IT infrastructure is in place to provide lease lines to all the Members of Parliament as their respective places and officers. There is no Zoom-type network available within India to meet the requirement either as on date.
The two presiding officers, if sources are to be believed, have made up their mind to conduct proceedings of both the houses keeping the “social distancing norms” as may be needed during the Corona times. The Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha are likely to hold their sittings in their respective chambers only but with highly reduced strength.
Intense consultations are at work to decide the number of MPs to attend session on a given particular day and how they should be rotated. It is learnt that some parties are agreeable but smaller ones are reluctant to accept it.