'No formal proposal for virtual Parliament session'

'No formal proposal for virtual Parliament session'

Lok Sabha officials said that some individual members had demanded virtual sessions of Parliament

Parliament. Credit: PTI

In times of Covid-19 pandemic, demands for holding virtual sessions of Parliament have been abound, but top Lok Sabha Secretariat officials said it had not received a single formal proposal from any political party.

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla said that when the Covid-19 pandemic broke out, several presiding officers believed that members should be present physically in legislatures and discuss issues threadbare.

Accordingly, several state assemblies and Parliament had taken extraordinary measures to ensure the safety of lawmakers and support staff across legislatures.

Birla acknowledged that several countries such as Brazil, Britain, Belgium have been holding virtual sessions of Parliament.

Lok Sabha officials said that some individual members had demanded virtual sessions of Parliament, but the secretariat had not received any formal proposal from any political party for holding online sessions of both Houses of Parliament.

The Budget Session and the Monsoon Session of Parliament had to be curtailed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. At least 40 parliamentarians had tested positive for Covid-19 during the monsoon session, which had to be cut short by eight days.

The Winter Session of the Parliament begins usually held in the last week of November, but the third wave of the Covid-19 spread in the capital has put a question mark on the conduct of the session.

Parliament sources said that the government was mulling merging the Winter Session of Parliament with the Budget Session that begins on the last day of January.

A parliament functionary pointed out that several members are not keen on having virtual sessions as it would be "less lively" with speeches dominating the proceedings.