NEW DELHI: Prospects of a normal

Parliament

session, with MPs required to attend in person, dimmed on Tuesday after an assessment by senior officials suggested that the

Lok Sabha

chamber, Central Hall as well as Vigyan Bhawan will not be able to accommodate MPs in their full strength, while keeping in mind social distancing norms laid down by the government.

Officials are understood to have told the presiding officers that only 60 MPs can be accommodated in the Lok Sabha chamber, while a little over 100 can sit in Central Hall, and both will not serve the full strength of the upper or lower Houses, which is 245 and 543 members, respectively.

With traditional sitting arrangements being ruled out for the

monsoon

session in July, officials had a meeting with RS chairman

Venkaiah Naidu

and Speaker Om Birla and are now evaluating possibilities and preparedness of a virtual session with members of both Houses attending from their locations, or even a ‘semi-virtual’ session, with some members attending in person while others join virtually.

Sources said officials suggested enabling physical attendance of members by drawing up a list of those whose participation is required on a daily basis as per the list of business. Naidu and Birla, however, directed officials to assess the feasibility of enabling online participation as per rules of business of both Houses.

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