Sonia Gandhi to miss monsoon session of Parliament, to travel outside India for medical check-up

Congress president Sonia Gandhi will be travelling outside the country for a routine medical check-up which could not take place earlier due to the ongoing pandemic situation, party officials said on Saturday.

The Congress president will be accompanied by her son and party leader Rahul Gandhi.

Both Opposition leaders will give the upcoming monsoon session in the parliament a miss which starts on Monday next week.

HT had reported that many senior lawmakers are likely to give the much-awaited monsoon session of Parliament a miss, on account of fears of exposing themselves to the coronavirus disease despite efforts from Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha authorities to ensure a safe session.

The list includes senior political leaders who have been advised to exercise caution during the ongoing Covid-19 disease outbreak.

Former prime minister and senior Congress leader Manmohan Singh is likely to attend the parliament’s inaugural session but is expected to skip rest of the session on advise from his doctors. The 87 year old political leader has been strictly asked to not leave home by his doctors.

Another Congress leader and former defence minister AK Antony, 79, may not attend the House daily but be there on some days, HT had reported.

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee has also said some of her senior party leaders who are old or suffering from an ailment will skip the upcoming parliament session.

The ongoing pandemic has raised concerns among leaders across party lines who have decided to skip the parliament. Two days before the session is expected to begin, India reported globally the highest ever recorded cases of Covid-19 — 97,570 —in a span of 24 hours. India reported another 1,201 deaths Saturday, bringing total deaths to 77,472, the third highest in the world.

Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla and Rajya Sabha chairman Venkaiah Naidu have been personally overseeing all preparations to implement Covid-19 safety protocols . On Thursday, Birla spent a few minutes in the gallery of the Lok Sabha to supervise how MPs will participate in the proceedings.

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