The Trinamool has written to the Lok Sabha Speaker at least three times seeking permission to hold virtual meets of the various House panels.
The Trinamool Congress’s demand to hold virtual meetings of the various parliamentary committees, the deadly second Covid wave notwithstanding, was today strongly echoed by senior Congress leaders.
The Trinamool has written to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla at least three times in nearly a year seeking permission for the many such panels to meet so as to ensure a modicum of accountability to Parliament amid these stressed times.
Its latest letter on the matter, dated May 7, was written to both Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu and Mr Birla.
“India has reported more than 3 lakh new COVID-19 cases per day for the past two weeks. In light of the prevailing circumstances, I urge your good offices to reconsider our request for conducting virtual meetings of parliamentary committees including departmentally related standing committees, consultative committees and select committees,” Mr O’Brien wrote in it.
In a tweet today, party MP Derek O’Brien said, “Not allowing virtual meetings means opposition can’t hold the government of India accountable.”
Narendra & Amit.
(Yes that’s the form of address. Guess why!)
Since July last year, Trinamool hv written 3 letters to the powers-that-be to allow #Parliament Committee meetings to be held VIRTUALLY.
Not allowing virtual meetings means Oppn can’t hold GOI accountable #COVID19
— Derek O’Brien | ডেরেক ও’ব্রায়েন (@derekobrienmp) May 10, 2021
Congress leader Jairam Ramesh quoted Mr O’Brien saying, “And Congress too has been making similar requests of the LS Speaker and RS Chairman.”
The party’s Thiruvananthapuram MP topped it off with his own cheeky tweet.
There is an old saying, you can’t wake a man who is pretending to sleep! https://t.co/CTKCUvmsEP
— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) May 10, 2021
The persistent demands for virtual meeting have been brushed aside by Mr Birla saying, according to Mr Tharoor, that they can’t be held “without the rules being formally amended”.
“Parliamentary accountability is at the heart of our constitutional system of democracy. Not being able to pursue it may prove to be yet another stake in that heart. I intend to explore ways of doing our work by email for now, without meetings,” the Congress leader had said earlier.