Parliamentary panel to meet on June 3, asks Home Secy to brief on lockdown

The Chairman of the parliamentary panel Anand Sharma has convened a meeting on June 3, for which notices have been sent to all members as well as to the Union Home Secretary.

Of the total 24 seats for the Rajya Sabha, five candidates — four in Karnataka and one in Arunachal Pradesh — were elected unopposed. File photo: PTI

The Parliamentary standing committee on Home Affairs has asked the Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla to appear before it on June 3 to brief it on the COVID-19 lockdown. The Chairman of the parliamentary panel and senior Congress leader Anand Sharma has convened a meeting on June 3, for which notices have been sent to all members as well as to the Union Home Secretary.

This is the first meeting of the Parliamentary standing committee after the coronavirus lockdown was imposed on March 25 to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The Home Secretary has been asked to brief the committee on the crisis and other issues arising due to the lockdown as well as on the coordination with the states.

At the panel meeting, the plight of migrant workers trying to reach their hometowns during the lockdown period will also be discussed. According to sources, Union Home Ministry led by Amit Shah was not keen on having any legislative scrutiny during the COVID-19 lockdown period. The Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, which is under Pralhad Joshi, had refused to allow any virtual conferences or meetings, citing fewrules and procedures.

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Despite his written requests for over two months by Congress leader Anand Sharma, no official response was received from the chairman of the Rajya Sabha to convene these meetings. The meeting to be held on June 3, is likely to closely scrutinise the lockdown and further related strategies.

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