LS adjourns after passing Finance Bill without talks

Lok Sabha adjourns sine die after passing Finance Bill without discussion

LS Speaker chaired a meeting of floor leaders Monday where it was agreed to pass the Finance Bill without any discussion

Representative image (PTI Photo)

Lok Sabha was adjourned sine die on Monday after passing the Finance Bill without a discussion and amid demands from the opposition for a special package to deal with the challenge posed by the COVID-19 outbreak.

While the opposition members demanded curtailment of the Budget Session, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla chaired a meeting of floor leaders Monday where it was agreed to pass the Finance Bill without any discussion, thus, completing the Budget exercise.

Lok Sabha members of Shiv Sena, Trinamool Congress and NCP have stayed away from Parliament to follow the call for lockdown in COVID-19 affected districts and call by experts to maintain social distancing to break the chain of transmission of the disease.

“We demand that the government immediately announce a financial package to deal with the situation arising out of the COVID-19 outbreak,” Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha, said as the Speaker took up the Finance Bill for passing.

DMK member T R Baalu also echoed Chowdhury’s demands, seeking intervention from Prime Minister Narendra Modi who was present in the Lok Sabha.

As COVID-19 began spreading across India, members cutting across party lines had been demanding curtailing of the Budget Session of Parliament that had resumed for the second part on March 2 and was scheduled to continue till April 3.

However, the government was keen on continuing the Session as per schedule but after taking due precautions to discourage crowding in Parliament, by shutting of the premises for visitors.

Last week, Parliament was in the grip of a scare after BJP member Dushyant Singh, who had come in contact with singer Kanika Kapoor who tested positive for Covid-19, mingled with fellow lawmakers and even attended a breakfast meeting with President Ram Nath Kovind.

Singh underwent Covid-19 tests which turned out to be negative, but has put himself in self-isolation. Besides Singh, Apna Dal member Anupriya Patel who also attended the breakfast meeting with the President along with Singh, went into self-isolation.

Two BJP members — V Muraleedharan and Suresh Prabhu also went into self isolation as a precautionary measure. While Prabhu placed himself under quarantine after a trip to Saudi Arabia, Muraleedharan had visited a hospital in Kerala treating Covid-19 patients. Both the BJP leaders have been tested negative for the COVID-19.