Vice President Venkaiah Naidu on 'Mission Connect' mode

Vice President Venkaiah Naidu on 'Mission Connect' mode

Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu has expressed hope that the next Parliament Session will be held on schedule, as the country is witnessing an intensive effort to contain COVID-19.

His comments came during his interactions with Rajya Sabha MPs during the past couple of days, which he called 'Mission Connect' during which he interacts with lawmakers as well as former Presidents and Prime Ministers, Governors and Chief Ministers as well as leaders of political parties to check out their well-being.

Sources said some MPs asked him about the next session of Parliament to which Naidu said that it would depend on the situation on the ground. "With the intensive virus containment efforts being mounted across the country and results showing on ground, one may hope for normal schedule," he was quoted as saying.

Usually, the Monsoon Session of Parliament is held in July-August while Budget session is held between January-April with a break. Winter Session is held normally during November-December.

As the COVID-19 situation worsened, the Budget Session of Parliament was abruptly adjourned on March 23 while it was scheduled to end on April 3. Since March 25, the country is in a lockdown and new Rajya Sabha MPs who were to be sworn in after April 2 could not take oath so far due to the restrictions in travel.

During his 'Mission Connect', Naidu has spoken to 241 MPs and former MPs, who retired recently, besides former Presidents Pranab Mukherjee and Pratibha Patil and former Prime Ministers Manmohan Singh and H D Deve Gowda. He could not speak to a few MPs who could not be reached over phone due to network issues.

He asked them about the safety of those leaders and of their kith and kin, their assessment of corona situation on ground in respective areas and the mode of their engagement and activities since the lockdown imposed on March 25.

He also interacted with Governors and Chief Ministers to assess the situation in states due to Covid-19. He also contacted Chief Justice of India S A Bobde, former Chief Justices Deepak Mishra and Ranjan Gogoi, who is now a nominated Rajya Sabha.

Among others, he also spoke Leader of the House and Union Minister Tawar Chand Gehlot, Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad, BJP president J P Nadda, NCP chief Sharad Pawar and other floor leaders.

Naidu also contacted senior Congress leaders Mallikarjun Kharge and Adhiranjan Choudhury (Congress), TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu (TDP), CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury and CPI General Secretary D Raja.