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Why can’t Parliament meet virtually, asks Jairam Ramesh

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Congress to unite parties against CAB at all India level: RameshNew Delhi, Aug 4 (IANS) Congress leader Jairam Ramesh has kicked up a row by questioning the government over not convening the Parliament session and even comparing it to Pakistan.

Jairam Ramesh questioned, “How is it that even Pakistani Parliament can convene, but India, the world’s largest democracy and a tech-savvy nation can’t even meet virtually?”

Ramesh said that even parliamentary committees are not meeting virtually. “Not even smaller groups like parliamentary committees can meet virtually? What happened to Digital India?” he said.

The Congress has been demanding a Parliament session to discuss the current political situation and has been accusing the government of running away from parliamentary oversight.

The leaders of both the Houses have met several times and discussed the issue on how to convene Parliament amid the Covid pandemic.

The government is mulling options to adhere to the social distancing norms and convene the session. It is mandatory to convene a session once in six months but this time period has not passed yet as Parliament was in business till March 23. The stipulated six months will be over in September and the government has time, experts say.

The parliamentary committees have started meeting since July 10.

The Rajya Sabha Secretariat is exploring seating for members of the Upper House in the chamber as well as the galleries in conformity with the physical distancing norms and to enable virtual participation of other members from either the Central Hall or the Balayogi Auditorium in the Parliament premises for the monsoon session.

Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu had detailed discussions on various options for conducting the proceedings of the Upper Hhouse during the ensuing monsoon session of Parliament with the Secretary General and other senior officials of the Rajya Sabha Secretariat.

–IANS

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