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Opinion

No Winter Session of Parliament Due to Covid, Says Government to Cong’s Demand to Discuss Agricultural Unrest

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There will be no winter session of Parliament due to the coronavirus pandemic, the government said, rejecting a demand by Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chaudhary to convene Parliament to discuss new farm laws that have sparked mass protests. Parliamentary affairs minister Pralhad Joshi communicated the decision to Chaudhary in a letter on Monday, according to the ANI news agency.

The minister said that he had informally contacted political party leaders and that they were in favor of skipping the winter session, which normally begins in November and ends in December. “The winter months are very crucial to managing the pandemic due to the recent outbreak of cases during this period, particularly in Delhi. At present, we are in mid-December and a Covid vaccine is expected very soon, ”Joshi said, according to his letter published by NDTV.

“The government is ready to have the next session of Parliament as soon as possible; It would be appropriate to have the 2021 budget session in January 2021 considering the unprecedented circumstances created by the Covid-19 pandemic, ”he said, in response to Chaudhary’s letter of December 3.

Chaudhary had requested a short winter session to discuss issues such as farmer turmoil, Covid-19 vaccine preparation, the economic slowdown, and the standoff along the India-China border.

When news of the government’s decision emerged, congressional leaders attacked the government on social media, linking the decision to the demand to repeal all three farm laws. They recalled that the Monsoon session of Parliament was held in September, when the number of Covid cases was at its peak.

To be sure, the plan to scrap the winter session had been proposed long before thousands of farmers began their agitation on the outskirts of Delhi against laws that allow agribusinesses to trade with minimal regulation, allow traders to store large quantities of food products for economies. scale and establish new rules of contract farming.

Farmers insist that the new laws favor large corporations with which they will lose business and gradually end the minimum price system set by the state.

The Hindustan Times first reported on the plan to cancel the winter session on November 16.

The monsoon session, which began on September 14 when new daily cases in Delhi averaged 4,001, was halted eight days after at least 50 people connected to Parliament tested positive. The plan to skip the winter session was drawn up when the daily average stood at 6,670. On Monday, Delhi reported more than 1,300 Covid cases, the lowest level in more than three and a half months.

Hindustan Times

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