New Delhi: Congress president Sonia Gandhi stressed the need to “push for a Parliament session” over the next few days, in a video conference with her party’s 52 Lok Sabha MPs Saturday, two party leaders told ThePrint.
A Congress MP who attended the meeting said, “With no Parliament session, it becomes practically impossible for the opposition to raise issues of importance in a consistent, sustained manner. It was decided that we need to push for a Parliament session now.”
The Budget Session, which was the last, was cut short because of the Covid-19 lockdown and was adjourned on 23 March, ahead of its scheduled conclusion on 3 April.
Under ordinary circumstances, the Monsoon Session would have begun by now — it is usually held from July to September. But with a rising Covid curve and strict social distancing norms currently in place, there is no clarity on when the next session will be held.
“But social distancing norms can easily be put in place within the Parliament. Arrangements can be made as there is enough space. A Parliament session is instrumental in the functioning of the country,” the MP added.
Issues to be raised — China stand-off and petrol prices
According to the leaders, Sonia Gandhi also asked the MPs about the issues of relevance which they think should be raised when the session commences. The Modi government’s “mishandling” of Covid-19 crisis is the main issue the party plans to raise.
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“The government’s mishandling of Corona is of most importance. We need to question them in a very committed, passionate fashion in order to corner them in Parliament,” a second MP who attended the meeting told ThePrint.
The other issues the Congress plans to raise include the India-China stand-off, the rising petrol and diesel prices, and the impact of the lockdown on the industries, the leaders said.
“There are figures that in detail show the miserable impact of the lockdown on the industries. A major stand-off is taking place with China, and we must have a session discussing that too,” the MP added.
The Congress also plans on pushing for entry of journalists in Parliament during the session, whenever it begins.
“Our fear is that they are deliberately trying to delay the Parliament session so that they cannot be questioned on all these issues. They will also try and use Corona as an excuse to not allow the entry of mediapersons. But we will speak against that too,” added the MP.
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