The parliamentary meeting which took place over video conferencing was scheduled to primarily discuss whether to end the lockdown on April 14 or further extend it. Also what should be the next action plan to contain spread of COVID-19 in case the lockdown is to be lifted.
As India enters the fifteenth day of the nationwide 21-day lockdown, The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi on Wednesday held a meeting with Members of Parliament who are floor leaders of parties with minimum 5 MPs in both the houses combined. The crucial meeting included Ghulam Nabi Azad, leader of the opposition in Rajya Sabha, and Nationalist Congress Party head Sharad Pawar.
Apart from Azad and Pawar, others who attended the virtual meet included, Ram Gopal Yadav (Samajwadi Party), Satish Misra (Bahujan Samaj Party), Chirag Paswan (Lok Janshakti Party), T R Baalu (Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam), Sukhbir Singh Badal (Shiromani Akali Dal), Rajiv Ranjan Singh (Janata Dal-United), Pinaki Mishra (Biju Janata Dal) and Sanjay Raut (Shiv Sena). Giving up its initial reluctance, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) also attended the conference.
Sources said, these leaders were briefed by secretaries of various ministries—health, home and rural development — on the actions taken by the government to tackle COVID-19 and mitigate the hardships arising out of the lockdown.
India crossed the five thousand mark as the current number of confirmed cases reach 5194 out of which 402 patients have recovered and 149 deaths have been reported worldwide.
Since the nationwide 21 day lockdown began on march 25, This is prime minister’s first interaction with floor leaders, including Opposition MPs. Earlier the PM held video conference meeting with the chief ministers of all states and discussed further plan of action in states and encouraged state governments to come up with state specific measures to tackle the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The prime minister has also held interactions with various stakeholders, including doctors, journalists and heads of Indian missions to get a feedback on ways to check the spread of coronavirus. He also recently spoke to various political party heads including Congress’ Sonia Gandhi, TMC’s Mamata Banerjee and DMK’s MK Stalin and discussed the COVID-19 situation.