NEW DELHI: The political class is expected to show greater sensitivity towards the pandemic. The Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha Secretariats had issued a detailed set of guidelines for MPs, their personal staff and parliamentary employees, stating that a Covid-19 test report is mandatory for entering Parliament.
Yet many arrived in the national capital without the mandatory check-up. When these MPs were subjected to the test – which is now the new normal – 17 members of the Lok Sabha and 8 members of the Rajya Sabha tested positive.
Among the infected MPs, the BJP has the biggest tally -- 12. The YSR Congress has two MPs, the Shiv Sena, the DMK and the RLP one each. In Rajya Sabha, two MPs each from the BJP and the Congress and one each from AIADMK, TRS, AAP and TMC were found to be infected.
The Lok Sabha members were tested at the Parliament House on September 13 and 14, sources said. One of the infected MPs, BJP's Sukanta Majumdar, tweeted his positive status on Sunday. Prior to their arrival, these MPs would have crisscrossed their constituencies and interacted with their staff and supporters after arrival in the Capital.
The session is being held under a corona wrap that includes staggered seating of the MPs in chambers of both Houses to maintain physical distancing; likewise, their seats in the house have been separated with poly-carbon sheets and a mobile app has been introduced to register their attendance.
They were also provided with special kits prepared by the DRDO and a manual for steering them through the corona minefield. Yet some MPs seem to be afflicted by a syndrome called ‘invincibility.’ They seem to be forgetting that in the corona regime there are no ‘untouchables.’
The infected include Sukhbir Singh Jaunpuria, Meenakashi Lekhi, Sukanata Majumdar, Anant Kumar Hegde, Goddeti Madhavi, Pratap Rao Jadav, Janardan Singh Sigriwal and Bidyut Baran Mahato. Among others to test positive are
Pradan Baruah, N Reddeppa, Selvam G, Pratap Rao Patil, Ram Shankar Katheria, Parvesh Sahib Singh, Satya Pal Singh and Rodmal Nagar (Ref: India Today.com).
BJP leader Hanuman Beniwal, who was one of the 17 Lok Sabha MPs to test positive, said that he was not infected as he has been screened thrice after giving a sample at Parliament and his all three reports have been negative.