The Monsoon Session of the Parliament is likely to be cut short and may end sometime around next week amid threats of the coronavirus, PTI reported, citing official government sources. At least 30 MPs, including Union ministers Nitin Gadkari and Prahlad Patel, have tested positive for the infection.
A discussion was held at a meeting of the business advisory meeting committee of the Lok Sabha. The panel has floor leaders of all parties apart from government representatives and is presided by the Speaker. Most political parties, including the Opposition, are reportedly in favour of curtailment of the Monsoon Session. The session, scheduled to end on October 1, may be wrapped up by September 23.
However, a final decision on the matter will be taken by the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs.
The central government has expressed concern for the safety of MPs after three of them, who attended the session, tested positive for the coronavirus. Their mandatory reports had come back negative day before they tested positive, according to NDTV.
Among the Lok Sabha members, 17 had tested positive while eight Rajya Sabha members had contracted the infection in the mandatory tests before the Monsoon Session began.
So far, the Lok Sabha has passed three bills related to the agriculture sector. Both the Upper and Lower Houses have cleared a legislation to replace an ordinance to reduce the salaries of parliamentarians by 30% for one year to meet emergencies arising out of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Monsoon Session of the Parliament began on September 14 with strict safety guidelines. Both Houses are meeting for four hours each without the customary Saturday-Sunday weekend break.