Monsoon Session 2020: Parliament Resumes Business With Modifications, Tweaks And Plenty Of Questions

This year is not very auspicious, it can safely be said that people might not miss 2020 too much if and when it does get over.

Now, India’s Parliament commenced on September 14, 2020 and as per a report in Hindustan Times, twenty-five members of Parliament tested positive for COVID-19 on the very first day of the monsoon season.

So, what was the reason behind holding Parliament during these unprecedented times, one might mask. And, well, as always, the constitution of the country has the answer. As per Article 85(1): “The President shall from time to time summon each House of Parliament to meet at such time and place as he thinks fit, but six months shall not intervene between its last sitting in one Session and the date appointed for its first sitting in the next Session.”

What are the tweaks made for this particular session?

For starters, the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha will convene on alternate days so that members always adhere to social distancing policies when they cross over to both the chambers. The visitor galleries, which sees journalists and several other people, will now be occupied by the MPs. And, there will be a total of 18 meetings and no breaks will be taken. Also, when the lunch break is taken, it will run from 1 pm to 3 pm and this will be the window where both the chambers will be disinfected.

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There is absolutely no love lost between the Government and the opposition, and during this session, there will be no question hour to further intensify the bickering. However, members can still avail written answers to written questions. There is the Zero Hour, where members can raise issues of urgent national importance – and this will be clamped down to 30 minutes.

It needs to be mentioned here that the average age of Lok Sabha MPs is 54 and that of the Rajya Sabha is 63 and hence, a number of senior members have given this a miss since they are most vulnerable of catching the virus. There were also demands to hold a virtual meet which was shot down by the chair owing to technical glitches.

What is on the agenda?

There are a total of 33 Bills and these include those which will replace 11 ordinances which had to be promulgated during the inter-session period.

Debates and discussions might get heated up on the issue of the Centre’s response to coronavirus, the nationwide lockdown, China’s aggression on the LAC, a contracting GDP and the centre-state balancing act on the GDP.