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Opinion

The prime minister will chair the meeting of all parties on Covid-19 today

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to interact with leaders of various political parties from both Houses of Parliament on Friday to discuss the situation of the Covid-19 pandemic in the country.

Floor leaders from all parts of the Lok Sabha, as well as the Rajya Sabha, have been invited to the virtual meeting which will take place from 10.30 am.

This will be the second meeting of all parties called by the government to discuss the Covid-19 situation since the outbreak of the pandemic.

The first meeting was held on April 20 amid a national shutdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Defense Minister Rajnath Singh, Interior Minister Amit Shah, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi will also attend today’s meeting.

The floor leaders of the different parties expected to attend the meeting include Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury (Lok Sabha) and Ghulam Nabi Azad (Rajya Sabha) from Congress, Sudip Bandyopadhyay (Lok Sabha) and Derek O ‘Brien (Rajya Sabha). ) of the Trinamool Congress, Midhun Reddy (Lok Sabha) and Vijayasai Reddy (Rajya Sabha) of the YSR Congress Party.

The government is likely to brief leaders on measures taken to deal with the pandemic and the progress made in vaccine development and distribution.

Read also | Chhattisgarh CM writes to PM Modi, seeks priority Covid 19 vaccination for the state

The Prime Minister has held multiple meetings, the last one on November 24, with the senior ministers, putting special emphasis on states with a high number of Covid-19 cases to review the situation there and offer suggestions and also discussed the administration and distribution of the vaccine.

On Monday, he held a virtual meeting with three teams working on the development and manufacture of the Covid-19 vaccine.

He had also visited pharmaceutical companies in Ahmedabad, Hyderabad and Pune on Saturday to review coronavirus vaccine development work there.

India has recorded the second highest number of coronavirus cases in the world after the United States, but it is one of the countries with the lowest deaths per million inhabitants globally, according to the Union Ministry of Health.

The meeting also comes a day after Chowdhury’s letter to Lok Sabha chairman Om Birla urging him to convene a short winter House session to discuss various issues, including farmer agitation and vaccine preparation. Covid-19.

In his letter, Chowdhury said that the winter session will be convened with all Covid-19 protocols to help people understand the significant issues facing the country today.

“There are a number of very important problems facing the nation today. Most notable among them are the ongoing agitation by farmers and the status / readiness of the Covid-19 vaccine, ”the letter read.

Chowdhury also listed issues such as the economic slowdown, unemployment, the continuing clash along the India-China border, and the constant violation of the ceasefire along the India-Pakistan border for immediate discussion in Parliament. .

“A thorough and transparent debate / discussion is needed on all the important issues mentioned above,” he said.

Last month, Birla had said that the Lok Sabha Secretariat is ready to hold the winter session, but the dates will be decided by the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs.

Chowdhury’s lawsuit was also supported by his party colleagues Manish Tewari and Shashi Tharoor. Tewari demanded that the winter session of Parliament be convened as soon as possible to discuss several pressing issues facing the country, such as the ongoing farmers’ protest against farm reform laws, Chinese aggression and the Covid-19 crisis.

He said that parliamentarians “owe it to the country to lead by example by not shirking our duties” due to Covid-19.

“It is even more important to convene Parliament for the winter session in view of the farmers’ uprising when tens of thousands of farmers from different parts of the country are protesting around Delhi to seek the repeal of three controversial agricultural laws,” he said. the former Minister of the Union.

“And Parliament is the best forum to debate and deliberate on these, taking into account the concerns and demands of farmers,” he added.

Farmers from Punjab, Haryana and other states have been camping at Delhi’s border points for more than a week to protest against the Center’s three agricultural reform laws that were enacted in September. Tewari said that various parliamentary panels, such as standing committees and joint parliamentary committees, are already holding regular meetings. “There is no logic or reason to skip the winter session of the House. Skipping a full session of Parliament will not only set a bad precedent, it will send the wrong signal across the country, ”he added.

“The show must go on,” said the congressional leader.

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