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25 MPs test positive for coronavirus as Parliament's monsoon session begins

As many 56 people tested positive during the RT-PCR Tests conducted in Parliament complex by September 12, says

Monsoon session | Parliament | Coronavirus

BS Web Team  |  New Delhi 

parliament, monsoon session
The Lok Sabha members were tested at Parliament House on September 13 and 14

As many as 17 members of the Lok Sabha and eight from the Rajya Sabha have tested positive for in tests carried out before met for its Monday morning, said media reports., while quouting unnamed sources, said 56 people tested positive during the RT-PCR Tests conducted in complex by September 12. The figure includes officials, media persons and MPs of both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.

The Lok Sabha members were tested at House on September 13 and 14, the website said quoting unnamed sources. The BJP had the most infected MPs at 12, the YRS Congress has two, the Shiv Sena, DMK and RLP one each, said the report.

Hindustan Times reported junior railways minister Suresh Angadi, BJP leaders Meenakshi Lekhi and Anant Kumar Hegde were among the Lok Sabha lawmakers infected. The MPs have informed the Lok Sabha secretariat about their health, said the newspaper.

"After the routine Parliament test for COVID & genome test it's confirmed that I have tested positive for the virus. I am currently in good health & spirits. I request everyone who has been recently in contact with me to get tested. Together We will fight & defeat Corona," said Lekhi on Twitter.

"I have tested #Covid19 positive today. I am doing well & taking doctors advice," said BJP lawmaker Sukanta Majumdar on Twitter on Sunday.

The began with numbers weighing heavily in the government’s favour. While the Opposition’s numerical strength in the Rajya Sabha has dipped significantly after the last round of elections in June (the Congress is now down to just 40 MPs in the Upper House from 46 in May), most senior leaders would be giving the Session a miss for health reasons.

Opposition parties have already decided that transgressions by China along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the economy, and the government’s handling of Covid would be priority issues.

There will be discussions on important legislation, although, on some, there will be bipartisan agreement. For instance, two Bills to replace Ordinances, reducing the salary and allowances of ministers and MPs by 30 per cent from April 1 for a year given the pandemic, are expected to be passed without much discussion. The Taxation and Other Laws (Relaxation of Certain Provisions) Bill, 2020, which changes the date by which taxpayers have to file their returns will replace an Ordinance promulgated following the outbreak of Covid-19. This too is expected to be passed with minimal debate.

The session is being held with large-scale safety protocols in place that include staggered seating of MPs in chambers of both Houses to maintain physical distancing.

In a first-of-its-kind initiative, the MPs this time registered their attendance using the 'Attendance Register' App: a step forward in digitalising operations at the Parliament, reported news agency IANS.

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First Published: Mon, September 14 2020. 15:16 IST