Rajasthan MP attends House after coming into contact with patient, triggers panic

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 20, 2020

Confirmed reports that Lok Sabha MP from Jhalawar Dushyant Singh attended a party hosted by celebrity singer Kanika Kapoor in Lucknow, who tested positive for coronavirus infection, triggered panic in Parliament on Friday. Some MPs who had come in contact with Singh announced self isolation, while the Opposition attacked the Centre for not adjourning Parliament despite warnings by medical professionals against all sorts of social gatherings.

Participated in event

Singh’s mother and former Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje tweeted on Friday that she and her son have decided to go into into self-quarantine. “While in Lucknow, I attended a dinner with my son Dushyant & his in-laws. Kanika, who has unfortunately tested positive for #Covid19 was also a guest. As a matter of abundant caution, my son & I have immediately self-quarantined and we’re taking all necessary precautions.”

Self quarantine

Trinamool Congress leader in Rajya Sabha Derek O’Brien said he is in self isolation. “I am on self-isolation and following all protocol, as I was sitting right next to MP Dushyant for two hours at a Parliament meeting on March 18,” O’Brien said.

Singh had attended a breakfast meeting hosted by President Ram Nath Kovind for MPs from Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Wednesday. Most of the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha members from the State had attended this meeting.

O’Brien said earlier that the government is putting all Parliamentarians at risk. “The PM says self-isolate yourself but Parliament is on. I was sitting next to Dushyant the other day for 2.5 hours. There are two more MPs who are in self-isolation. The session should be deferred,” he said.

The Rajya Sabha, meanwhile, passed a resolution supporting the efforts taken by the Centre and the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to combat coronavirus. Congress’s deputy leader Anand Sharma said in House that the Government is breaking its own laws by making the House work. Railways Minister Piyush Goyal countered this by saying that the Centre is giving a message to masses that MPs were performing their duties towards the country.

Sharma said said, “We make country’s legislation. We are Parliament. Epidemic Act has been implemented in India. Section 144 has been imposed in entire country. Restaurants are being closed. Government’s notification released by PIB yesterday says people above 65 should stay indoors. I want to ask whether exception is allowed. Can we say that we are above the law of India.

“We tell the nation that respect the law. This Act has been implemented, has been notified but not implemented on us. Here there are thousands of people who are getting exposed. I don’t want to make it a controversy.”

Sharma pointed out that he himself is above 65 and Modi had asked everyone who is above 65 to not to venture out of homes.

Goyal claimed that the Epidemic Act and government notification exempts essential services. “There is an exemption in the law for essential duties. Parliament is also disposing its duties ...Budget is there ...Discussions are being done on demand of different ministries.Finance Bill from Lok Sabha will come to Rajya Sabha for discussion. That is also a responsibility,” Goyal said.

Published on March 20, 2020

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