TMC MPs, aged over 65, likely to skip upcoming Parliament session due to risk of contracting COVID-19

Parliament's Monsoon Session will begin on 14 September and will conclude on 1 October. As part of precautionary measures, visitors will be restricted and there will be staggered seating in both Houses

Press Trust of India September 07, 2020 17:22:57 IST
TMC MPs, aged over 65, likely to skip upcoming Parliament session due to risk of contracting COVID-19

Parliament. PTI

Kolkata: A majority of TMC MPs above the age of 65 are likely to skip the upcoming Monsoon Session of Parliament to avoid the risk of contracting COVID-19 , party sources said.

Although there has been no official communication by the party leadership in this regard, the sources said MPs over 65 years have been advised not to attend the session.

Sudip Bandopadhyay, the 67-year-old Lok Sabha MP from Kolkata Uttar, said he would coordinate with his party colleagues in the Lower House.

"I won't be attending the Parliament session as I am above 65, and vulnerable. I will be coordinating with my party colleagues in the Lok Sabha," he said. TMC chief whip and party's Rajya Sabha MP, too, said he won't be attending the session.

Roy cited the Unlock-4 guidelines by the Union home ministry, which advised persons aged above 65 to stay at home except for emergencies, to make his point.

"I won't be there as I am 71 years' old. I will abide by the Unlock-4 guidelines. I have already written to the Rajya Sabha chairman informing him about it," he told PTI.

Senior TMC leader and Dum Dum MP Saugata Roy, however, did not want to give the parliamentary proceedings a miss.

"There is no blanket rule from the party. If anybody above 65 years is willing to attend, he or she can.... I will attend the session," Roy said.

The Parliament's Monsoon Session will begin on 14 September and end on 1 October.

Hectic preparations are underway for the session with several first-time measures being taken because of the COVID-19 pandemic, such as testing of MPs, staggered sitting arrangements in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha and use of both chambers and galleries to accommodate the members.

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