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With more MPs testing COVID positive, Parliament’s Monsoon Session likely to conclude one week early

Representational Image | Photo Credit: PTI

 The 18-day Monsoon Session of Parliament is likely to conclude one week before the scheduled date after 30 MPs tested positive for coronavirus.

The Parliament session, the first since the coronavirus-induced lockdown was imposed in March, began on September 14 and is scheduled to conclude on October 1.

However, according to two senior parliament officials, the duration of the ongoing session could be cut short by a week.

“Since the commencement of the session the number of positive cases has gone up so the government is thinking of cutting short the session,” one of the two officials, who are involved in the functioning of Parliament proceedings.

The Lok Sabha speaker has also called an urgent meeting of the business advisory committee at 5 pm today to deliberate on the issue.

30 MPs tested COVID positive

Nearly 30 lawmakers and more than 50 employees of Parliament have been found infected with COVID-19.

The MPs who have tested positive included BJP leaders Meenakshi Lekhi, Anant Kumar Hegde and Parvesh Sahib Singh Verma; Pratap Rao Jadav, Janardan Singh, Sukhbir Singh, Hanuman Beniwal, Sukanata Majumdar, Goddeti Madhavi, Bidyut Baran, Pradan Baruah, N Reddeppa, Selvam G, Pratap Rao Patil, Ram Shankar Katheria, Satya Pal Singh and Rodmal Nagar.

Union ministers Nitin Gadkari and Prahlad Patel are also among the COVID-19-infected parliamentarians.

The MPs and staff of the secretariats of both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha had undergone mandatory tests for COVID-19 before the start of the Monsoon Session as part of SOPs adopted to safely hold the Parliament session.

All those who have tested positive have been advised to go under self-isolation and not to attend Parliament session.

The Monsoon Session is being held in two different shifts — Rajya Sabha is holding proceedings in the mornings and Lok Sabha in the second half of the day.

India, the second worst-hit country by coronavirus, on Saturday recorded 93,337 fresh cases, which pushed the country’s tally to over 53 lakh.

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