New Delhi: MPs cutting across party lines were seen violating social distancing norms during President Ram Nath Kovind’s address to the joint sitting of both houses of Parliament on Monday.
MPs in the first two rows, seating Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, top Union ministers and floor leaders of various parties, were socially distanced but not after that.
From the third row onwards, many MPs did not follow Covid protocol. This included several Union ministers. In some benches of the Central Hall meant to seat five, seven MPs were crammed together. Several parliamentarians were seen chatting with some of them dropping their masks.
Following the spike in Covid cases during the third wave, arrangements have been made for MPs to sit in the Central Hall gallery as well as the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha chambers.
During the budget session beginning on Monday, parliament proceedings will be conducted in two shifts — Rajya Sabha in the morning and Lok Sabha in the evening.