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Hold meetings of parliamentary panels virtually: Congress to Rajya Sabha chairman

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New Delhi: Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge has urged Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu to allow virtual meetings of parliamentary standing committees, saying Parliament cannot be a mute spectator to the suffering of people.

In a letter to the Rajya Sabha Chairman, Kharge sought his intervention and said parliamentary panels can contribute to the ongoing endeavours in containing this pandemic and providing relief to people.

“At this hour of collective crisis, the Parliament of India cannot be and must not be a mute spectator. It must give a message of solidarity with the people, of serious business to alleviate their agony and of unity of purpose,” he said.

The senior Congress leader said the Department Related Standing Committees are an effective, non-partisan mechanism of Parliament and the tradition of collective brain-storming in the committees is a cherished achievement of the parliamentary system.

“The meetings of the Standing Committees at this juncture will provide the nation much required collective initiative across the party lines. They are an effective instrument to ensure accountability, to provide institutional platform to all stakeholders and to collective explore solutions.

“It is in this spirit that I urge you to allow the virtual meetings of the Standing Committees,” he said in his letter.

Kharge also brought to the notice of the chairman that the 123rd Report of the Department Related Standing Committee on Health and Family Welfare made vital recommendations for coping with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I would request you to one again take cognizance of the report and secure the action taken report on its, as deemed fit. Such an action taken report can provide afresh a blue print for further tackling in the Covid menace in the country,” he said, seeking Naidu’s intervention in convening virtual sittings of the committees.

Kharge said that “in these times of national catastrophe, we all need to come together, work together and provide succour to our fellow Indians”.

Parliament is the supreme institution that embodies the aspirations and expectations of the people of India and is also the supreme platform for expression of their pain and anguish, and for deliberation on possibilities and solutions to end their sufferings.

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