Home >Politics >News >Monsoon session Day 1: 17 Lok Sabha MPs test positive for Covid-19

A total of 17 Members of Parliament, including Meenakshi Lekhi, Anant Kumar Hegde and Parvesh Sahib Singh, tested positive for coronavirus on the first day of the 18-day Monsoon session, according to news agency ANI.

For the first time, some members of the Lower House attended the proceedings while being seated in the Rajya Sabha chamber as Parliament met for the first time during the COVID-19 pandemic phase.

359 members attended proceedings of Lok Sabha on the first day of monsoon session, said Lok Sabha Secretariat. Out of these, roughly 30 were seated in the visitors’ gallery located above the main chamber today. Plastic shields were installed in front of the members’ benches in order to ensure distance.

The fourth session of 17th Lok Sabha and 252nd session of Rajya Sabha was scheduled to be held today and subject to exigencies of government business, may conclude on October 1.

According to a press release from the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, the session will provide a total of 18 sittings spread over a period of 18 days (all the days including Saturdays and Sundays of the ensuing session will be working days) and a total of 47 items have been identified for being taken up during the Monsoon Session 2020. (These include 45 Bills and two financial items).

During the first half of the session, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman sought the Parliament nod for additional spending of 2,35,852.87 crore, including 40,000 crore towards enhanced expenditure under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Program.

"Approval of the Parliament is sought to authorise gross additional expenditure of 2,35,852.87 crore.

The government has also sought 46,602.43 crore towards providing additional allocation under Post Devolution Revenue Deficit Grant to the states as per recommendations for Fifteenth Finance Commission.

Ahead of the Monsoon Session, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today expressed gratitude to MPs for choosing the path of duty in the times of coronavirus.

"Parliament session is beginning in distinct times. There's Corona & there's duty. MPs chose the path to duty. I congratulate & express gratitude to them. This time RS-LS will be held at different times in a day. It'll be held on Saturday-Sunday too. All MPs accepted this," PM Modi said.

The Prime Minister also saluted the courage of soldiers and said: "I believe that all members of the Parliament will give an unequivocal message that the country stands with our soldiers."

This is the first Parliament session being held amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore all safety measures have been taken to conduct the session as per guidelines issued for COVID-19.

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Sunday has sent a safety COVID-19 kit along with a letter to all the parliamentarians amid the pandemic.

The 18-day session is being held amid unprecedented precautionary measures against COVID-19 due to a continuing spike in cases. On the eve of the session, the Union Health Ministry reported 94,372 fresh cases in 24 hours.

The government has listed 23 new legislations for consideration and passage including 11 bills replacing ordinances. There also 20 other bills pending in either Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha.

With inputs from agencies

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