PM Modi to Chair Virtual All-Party Meeting on Covid-19 Tomorrow, All Eyes on Vaccine Discussion

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will chair an all-party meeting on coronavirus situation in the country on Friday. The virtual meeting will be attended by floor leaders of all parties have representatives in Parliament.

Parliamentary Affairs Ministers Pralhad Joshi and junior ministers Arjun Ram Meghwal and V Muraleedharan have spoken to the floor leaders all of whom have expressed their willingness to be a part of this discussion.

The Prime Minister will be joined by a number of his Cabinet colleagues, including Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister and Lok Sabha Deputy Leader Rajnath Singh, Social Justice Minister and Rajya Sabha Leader of House Thawarchand Gehlot, Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, besides Joshi, Meghwal and Muraleedharan.

The meeting is likely to begin with a 15 to 20-minute presentation by the Union health secretary. The presentation would include details on India’s fight against the pandemic so far as compared to the rest of the world.

The Union health minister is also likely to talk to the MPs about the various vaccines that are being developed and what stages of trials they are currently at, following which party leaders would speak. The meeting would end with an address by the Prime Minister.

This is the second such meeting convened by the government to take opposition parties into confidence in its fight against the coronavirus. The last such meeting was held in April when the nation was under complete lockdown to curb the spread of the virus.

The meeting comes a week after Modi visited to three vaccine developing facilities in Hyderabad, Pune and Ahmedabad and also held a meeting via video conferencing with three other developers.

Sources said the Congress will be represented by Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and Ghulam Nabi Azad, while the Trinamool Congress will send Derek O’Brien and Sudip Bandyopadhyay. Vijay Sai Reddy and Midhun Reddy will be present from the YSR Congress Party, while senior politicians Sharad Pawar and HD Deve Gowda will represent Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Janata Dal (Secular), respectively. MPs TR Baalu and Trichy Siva of the DMK and Ramgopal Yadav of the Samajwadi Party will also take part in the talks.

Chandrashekhar Sahu (Biju Janata Dal), Nama Nageswara Rao and K Keshava Rao (Telanagana Rashtra Samithi), Prem Chandra Gupta (Rashtriya Janata Dal), Jaidev Galla (Telugu Desam Party) Imtiaz Jaleel (AIMIM) and Sanjay Singh (Aam Aadmi Party) will take part in the meeting.

Sources said about 12 leaders whose parties has more than five MPs in Parliament would be allowed to speak. The list of confirmed speakers includes Azad, Bandyopadhyay, Pawar, Nama Nageswara Rao, Vinayak Raut, Midhun Reddy, Navaneethakrishnan, Chandrashekhar Sahu and Baalu.

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