New Delhi: Every time, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the Bharatiya Janata Party parliamentary board, headlines are made. Be it the Prime Minister’s disappointment with the MPs or his emotional appeals to take central government policies to people.
However, under ‘extraordinary circumstances’, as Lok Sabha Speaker puts it every time he has to enforce discipline in the members, the party has decided to digress from the traditional norm of a weekly parliamentary party meeting.
This session, there would be no parliamentary party meeting, said a senior minister.
According to a senior MP and a minister, many MPs are taking ‘one day at a time’ approach this session.
“We are taking it one day at a time. Having a parliamentary party meeting would mean many MPs at one place which goes against enforced COVID-19 protocols in the Parliament. Social distancing and wearing masks are mandatory. It keeps one safe to an extent,” stated the senior MP from BJP.
To this, another MP added, “Let’s see if they could stretch it to the date they had given. We got feelers that they might wrap it up before time. It’s dangerous to be in a large gathering despite masks and social distancing.”
While two of the parliamentarians have tested positive within four days of their negative COVID-19 test result, arrangements have been made to keep a check — random but routinely– on health updates of the ministers and MPs.
The government has arranged for testing at their residence, near the residence and in the parliament annexe. Union minister Nitin Gadkari and BJP Rajya Sabha member Vinay Sahasrabuddhe tested positive for COVID-19.
“Several organisations are doing health investigations. NDMC, Delhi and DRDO also have been roped in. We are getting tested,” stated another MP. This is to keep a check on the status of COVID-19 infection among the MPs on a routine basis, stated the source.
As for the staff, whosoever enters the main building, for them RT- PCR is a must. For those who work on a daily basis or are engaged in day to day work there is a facility of Rapid antigen test, stated the source.