Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu said today that he had been speaking to all the members of the Rajya Sabha over the phone during the lockdown.
Spoke to almost all the Rajya Sabha members including newly elected members over phone during the last few days. Glad to know that they are playing an active role in the national battle against #COVID19 and are engaged in welfare activities in their constituencies. #Covid19India
— Vice President of India (@VPSecretariat) April 29, 2020
Sources close to the Chairman said that he has also interacted with Governors, Chief Ministers, political leaders, media persons during the COVID-19 crisis
Terming his engagement efforts as ‘Mission Connect’, Chairman Naidu has also reached out to former Presidents and Prime Ministers and present and former Chief Justices.
Besides inquiring about the well-being of the leaders and their families, the Chairman sought their assessment of the COVID-19 situation and details of their engagement since the lockdown was imposed on March 25th.
Of the 245 members of the Rajya Sabha, Chairman Naidu spoke to 241 members of the Upper House including those retired and re-elected recently.
He has also spoken to former Presidents Pranab Mukherji and Pratibha Patil and former Prime Ministers Dr Manmohan Singh and HD Deve Gowda.
Some of the leaders that Chairman Naidu reached out, include Leader of the House Thawar Chand Gehlot, Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad, JP Nadda, Sharad Pawar, Anand Sharma and P Chidambaram.
The Chairman also reached out to Chief Justice of India Justice SA Bobde, former CJI Justice Deepak Mishra and Justice Ranjan Gogoi who is now a member of Rajya Sabha.
Some members of Rajya Sabha enquired about the next session of Parliament to which Chairman Naidu said that it depends on the situation on the ground.
He further said with the intensive virus containment efforts being mounted across the country and results showing on ground, one may hope for a normal schedule.
Chairman Naidu was glad to be informed that the members of Rajya Sabha and other leaders are happy to be with the people in respective areas during the hour of adversity and partnering with local governments in addressing various issues from time to time.
Many of them are actively associated with the distribution of items of consumption in association with local governments, NGOs, philanthropists etc.
The feedback, in particular, highlighted the amazing cooperation of the people in the implementation of the lockdown. Some members flagged the issues of migrant workforce and the efforts being made on the ground to reach them necessary relief and support.