India’s Upper House of Parliament, the Rajya Sabha, has adjourned indefinitely, a week ahead of schedule, in light of the rising number of Covid-19 cases across the country.
"I have to inform the members that the government has decided to recommend the adjournment of the House sine die today. But some important legislative business passed by the Lok Sabha must be disposed of before adjournment of the House sine die [indefinitely],” Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs V. Muraleedharan informed the Upper House.
"We have to conclude this session eight sittings ahead as the Covid pandemic continues to challenge humankind across the globe. Eighteen sittings had been planned, we have completed 10," Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu said.
"This August house had to function from six different locations, including chambers of both the houses, four galleries of the house, the first of its kind in the history of Rajya Sabha. In another first, we functioned on Saturday and Sunday of the last week, without taking the usual break," he added.
Several opposition parties are currently boycotting the house and the benches were empty as the Upper House passed the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment Bill, the Bilateral Netting of Qualified Financial Contracts Bill, the three labor codes, and the Jammu and Kashmir Official Languages Bill on the last day.
The sudden conclusion of the Monsoon Session, which began on September 14 and is due to end on October 1, comes amid an uproar over the government's farm bills, which were passed on Sunday.
Eight opposition Rajya Sabha MPs were suspended for unruly behavior, which triggered the boycott by opposition parties in proceedings in both the upper and lower houses, demanding the suspension be revoked.
The Lower House, or Lok Sabha, will meet at 3 p.m. local time and is also likely to be adjourned.