Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is likely one of the Rajya Sabha MPs who have sought the Upper House’s permission to remain away for part of or all of the monsoon session of Parliament
On Wednesday, Rajya Sabha chairperson M Venkaiah Naidu said the lawmakers had sought leave of absence for health reasons. The requests have come amid the Covid-19 pandemic..
But even so Manmohan Singh, two other senior Congress leaders — Oscar Fernandes and P Chidambaram — have also asked to be excused from the session.
Other MPs who have sought leave include Parimal Nathwani of the YSR Congress Party; A. Navaneethakrishnan of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam; KG Kenye of the Naga People’s Front; Banda Prakash and Lakshmikantha Rao of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi; nominated MP Narendra Jadhav; Hishey Lachungpa of the Sikkim Democratic Front; Trinamool Congress’s Manas Ranjan Bhunia; Anbumani Ramadoss of the Paattali Makkal Katchi ; Sushil Kumar Gupta of the Aam Aadmi Party; and Mahendra Prasad of the Janata Dal (United).
On Monday, the House was once informed that Subhasish Chakraborty and Sukhendu Sekhar Ray of the Trinamool Congress had also sought permission to stay absent all through the session, which ends on October 1, on health grounds.
Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, both Houses of Parliament have made extensive arrangements to make certain that physical distancing and other health protocols in place for preventing the spread of the virus are adhered to. Rajya Sabha proceedings are being held between 9am and 1pm; probably the most members have to take a seat in galleries in addition to the Lok Sabha chambers to follow the physical distancing requirement. MPs also had to undergo a mandatory Covid-19 test before being allowed to attend the session, which got underway on Monday.