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Vice President, Lok Sabha Speaker reject request for Parliamentary Panel virtual meets Parliamentary committees virtual meets
Image credit: PIB Official Website

Vice President, Lok Sabha Speaker reject request for Parliamentary Panel virtual meets

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 14 May 2021, 09:18 pm

New Delhi/IBNS: Vice President Venkaiah Naidu and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla have refused to allow parliamentary committees to function virtually despite requests for the same from the opposition as well as some parties that support Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government.

With legislative work at a standstill, the presiding officers of the two houses of parliament have rejected requests to allow virtual meetings amid the Covid pandemic.

They have cited technicalities and confidentiality clauses in rejecting the requests.

They suggested that once the situation returns to normal, physical meetings can resume otherwise, it will take for an amendment in the rules, a note from the Rajya Sabha secretariat said.

The move has not gone down well with the oppositions. They have questioned the government's decision to carry one construction work for the new government building but can't hold legislative meets.

"I am not surprised. In spite of repeated requests for almost a year, virtual meetings of Standing Committees have been inexplicably disallowed. The PM has all his meetings virtually, but 30 odd MPs cannot. Nowhere in the world has Parliament run away from its duties like in India," Congress MP Jairam Ramesh tweeted.

"A wasteful new Parliament building is being constructed in the midst of a national catastrophe, and it is considered an 'essential service'. But a simple rule cannot be changed to allow virtual meetings of Standing Committees," he said.

Countries like the United States and the United Kingdom have allowed their parliaments and committees to function via video conferencing and other systems.