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'Don't Whisper in Each Other's Ears': Venkaiah Naidu Schools Rajya Sabha MPs on Covid-19 Protocol

File photo of proceedings in the Rajya Sabha.

File photo of proceedings in the Rajya Sabha.

Before the proceedings started for Zero Hour, Naidu advised members not to go to each other's seats or come to the Table House when the House is in session for any clarification and send slips, if the issue was urgent.

New Delhi: Passing slips in examination halls is not allowed but is permitted in Rajya Sabha to communicate with other members in view of COVID-19 safety measures, Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu said on Friday. Before the proceedings started for Zero Hour, Naidu advised members not to go to each other's seats or come to the Table House when the House is in session for any clarification and send slips, if the issue was urgent.

"No member is expected to come to Table office when House is in session…Members are requested not to go to other member's seat and bend and whisper in their ears….Please avoid. If you have something to communicate send slips. It is not allowed in examination halls but is allowed here," Naidu said, prompting laughter in the House. When a member in lighter vein asked whether they could come over for a cup of tea, Naidu said they can send slips informally and he will try to address the issue to the extent possible.

He also advised all parliamentarians not to come to the Chairman's office and added that while he enjoyed meeting people, under the present circumstances safety norms should be followed. Air circulation is restricted in closed rooms, he noted.

During the current 18-day Monsoon Session which started from Monday under the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic, many firsts have been witnessed including sitting of the two Houses in shifts without any off day and entry only to those having a negative COVID-19 report and compulsory wearing of masks. The first-of-its-kind Monsoon Session is conducted with Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha sitting in two different shifts with special seating arrangements for MPs in adherence to social distancing guidelines. For making the entire Parliament complex a safe zone in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla and Rajya Sabha Chairman Naidu had earlier held a series of extensive discussions with officials of the Home Ministry, Health Ministry, ICMR and the DRDO..

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