New Delhi, March 8 : Both the Houses of the Parliament will resume their usual functioning from Tuesday with proceedings beginning at 11 a.m., after a gap of two earlier sessions in which morning and evening hours were scheduled to avoid the spread of Covid-19.
With Covid cases again rising in the country, the move gives an indication that the second leg of the Budget Session may cut short its timing to enable the MPs from poll-bound states of Assam, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry to take part in campaigning in their respective constituencies. The elections in these states will be held between March 27 and April 29, and the results will be declared on May 2.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Rajya Sabha timing was fixed from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and the Lok Sabha timing from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. since the Monsoon Session last year. The members of both the Houses had seating arrangements in the chambers during this period.
In Rajya Sabha, Vandana Chavan, who was on the chair, made the announcement citing a written message from Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu deciding to run the functioning of the Upper House from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Tuesday onwards. Later, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla also announced that the Lower House will function from 11 a.m. from Tuesday onwards.
It was also announced that the MPs will sit in the Rajya Sabha chambers and galleries, observing social distancing norms. At present, the MPs sit in the chambers of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha and in the visitors' galleries to maintain social distance.
Usually, the Parliament functions between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m., sitting beyond the scheduled time on some occasions. Increasing the timing by an hour till 6 p.m. is learnt to be a plan to finish business as soon as possible.
The plan comes against the backdrop of a demand from a section of MPs to curtail the second leg of the Budget Session during which elections to five Assemblies will take place.