Opposition object to PM’s joint address on Covid to MPs at Parliament annexe
Opposition parties on Sunday objected to the government’s offer for a joint address to all MPs by the Prime Minister on Covid at the Parliament annexe, saying this will be “highly irregular” at a time when Parliament will be in session and it aims to “bypass” norms.
Leaders, including from the Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the CPI(M), also said that when the Covid pandemic and issues related to it can be discussed on the floor of the House, what was the need to go “outside”. The annexe is a separate building within the premises of the Parliament complex.
In an all-party meeting on Sunday, a day before the Monsoon Session of Parliament begins, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prahlad Joshi announced that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address MPs of both the Houses — Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha — on July 20 and speak on the pandemic.
In what could trigger a stormy start to the Monsoon session of Parliament commencing Monday, a global collaborative investigative project has revealed that Israeli company NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware targeted over 300 mobile phone numbers in India including that of two serving Ministers in the Narendra Modi government, three Opposition leaders, one constitutional authority, several journalists and business persons.
The Wire, a digital news platform, which is part of the collaboration, reported Sunday that the leaked global database of 50,000 telephone numbers, was first accessed by French non-profit Forbidden Stories and Amnesty International, and then shared with 16 media partners: The Guardian, Washington Post, Le Monde, Suddeutsche Zeitung, and 11 other Arab and European organisations.