Hold LS session in Central Hall, RS in Lower House: MP

Coronavirus: Hold Lok Sabha proceedings in Central Hall, Rajya Sabha meet in Lower House, suggests MP Tiruchi Siva

Lok Sabha has 545 MPs and Rajya Sabha has 245 lawmakers. (File Photo)

Amidst uncertainty over holding Parliament's Monsoon Session on time due to COVID-19 pandemic, senior DMK MP Tiruchi Siva has suggested that Lok Sabha could meet in the spacious Central Hall and Rajya Sabha could be convened in the Lower House to ensure that social distancing is maintained during the proceedings.

For latest updates and live news on coronavirus, click here

Siva made his suggestions in a letter he shot off to Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu saying the issue of space constraint for seating of MPs to maintain social distancing will be one of the matters of serious concern, which should be addressed.

"For the time being till this menace is over, the Lok Sabha proceedings can be held in the Central Hall by making necessary alterations and the Rajya Sabha proceedings could be in the Lok Sabha hall, which would help members to sit at the required distance," Siva said.

Lok Sabha has 545 MPs and Rajya Sabha has 245 lawmakers. The iconic Central Hall is used for joint sittings of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.

Usually, the Monsoon Session is convened in July and it extends until mid-August. The Budget Session was curtailed in March this year as the number of COVID-19 cases was on the rise. Two days after Parliament was adjourned, the government imposed a national lockdown on March 25, which has now been extended to May 31.

Siva said this unprecedented pandemic has held the whole world paralysed for the first time ever in human history and it has also put to test the capacity and efficiency of mankind to prove once again the quality and capability to overcome and sustain against odd critical situations. 

"Across the world, the legislative forums along with all other sectors have come to stand still for this experience is an inexperienced one. We, the largest democracy are no exception to it," he said while putting forth his suggestion.

Several MPs had been demanding the reconvening of Parliamentary Standing Committees, especially to scrutinise the COVID-19 response of the Narendra Modi government. Last Saturday, Naidu and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla held a meeting with senior officials to prepare for starting committee meetings for which officials have identified at least nine meeting halls where social distancing could be practised. 

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox