Economics Times, April 29, 2020
Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Wednesday told members of Rajya Sabha that the next session of Parliament depends on the situation on the ground and hoped for a normal schedule saying efforts to contain coronavirus were showing results, according to sources.
Naidu, who is the Rajya Sabha chairman, was interacting with the MPs as part of his ‘Mission Connect’ during which he has been talking to a large number of parliamentarians as well as former presidents and prime ministers, present and former chief justices of India, governors and chief ministers, besides
leaders of political parties since the lockdown began.
The sources said when some members of Rajya Sabha asked Naidu about the next session, he told them that it “depends on the situation on the ground”. He further said that with intensive virus containment efforts being mounted across the country and results showing on ground, one may hope for normal schedule, the sources add.
Last year, the Monsoon session of Parliament was held between June 20 and August 7.
The Budget session had to be curtailed on March 23 due to the coronavirus pandemic, ahead of its scheduled date on April 3. In his unique engagement effort during coronavirus-induced confinement, Naidu reached out to almost all members of the Upper House, former presidents Pranab Mukherjee and Pratibha Patil and former prime ministers Manmohan Singh and HD Deve Gowda.
Besides, he also spoke to Chief Justice of India S A Bobde, former chief justices Deepak Mishra and Ranjan Gogoi, who is now a Rajya Sabha member. He also talked to
Governors and Chief Ministers of many states, besides leaders of various political parties. During his interaction, he enquired about the safety of those leaders and of their kith and kin, their assessment of coronavairus situation on ground in respective areas and the mode of their engagement and activities since the nationwide lockdown.
Of the 245 members of Rajya Sabha, Naidu spoke to 241 of them including some who retired and those re-elected recently. Four others in remote areas could not be reached. Sources close to him said Naidu was glad to know that the members and other leaders were happy to be with the people in their respective areas during the hour of adversity and partnering with local governments in addressing issues.
Many of them are actively associated with distribution of items of consumption in association with local governments, NGOs, philanthropists etc. The feedback in particular, highlighted the amazing cooperation of the people in the implementation of the lockdown, the sources said.
Some members flagged the issues of migrant workforce and the efforts being made on the ground to reach them necessary relief and support, they said.
Among the MPs whom Naidu contacted included Leader of the House Thawar Chand Gehlot, Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad, J P Nadda (BJP), Sharad Pawar
(NC), Anand Sharma, Digvijay Singh, AK Anthony and P Chidambaram of Congress, Ram Gopal Yadav (SP), Satish Chandra Mishra (BSP), Sukhendu Sekhar Roy (TMC), Prasana
Acharya (BJD), Sanjay Rout (SS), Navaneetha Krishnan (AIADMK), Tiruchi Siva (DMK) and others.
He also spoke to Mallikarjun Kharge and Adhiranjan Choudhury (Congress), N Chandrababu Naidu (TDP), Sitaram Yechury (CPM) and D Raja (CPI).
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