In a Rethink, TMC Decides to Attend PM Modi's Interaction With Floor Leaders on Wednesday

Giving up its initial reluctance, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) has decided to attend a video conference interaction with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday after the government reached out to it, a party leader said on Tuesday.

Senior leader Sudip Bandyopadhyay is slated to represent the TMC in the interaction Modi will have with floor leaders of various political parties via a video link. The COVID-19 crisis including the countrywide lockdown are likely to be discussed during the meeting.

Bandyopadhyay is the leader of the TMC in Lok Sabha and will interact with the PM from Kolkata.

TMC sources said that the party had been demanding a discussion in Parliament on the spread of coronavirus for days but it was never done and the party had initially decided not to attend the interaction.

"The government reached out to us and it was genuine. Given the seriousness of the situation due to the spread of the contagion, it was considered and we decided that a representative of the party must be in on the interaction," a senior party leader said.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi had said Modi will interact with floor leaders of all those parties who have more than five MPs in both houses of Parliament on April 8 at 11 AM.

This will be the prime minister's first interaction with opposition leaders after the lockdown. He did have an interaction with chief ministers of all states including those ruled by non-NDA parties.

The death toll in the country due to novel coronavirus rose to 124 and the number of cases climbed to 4,789 on Tuesday, registering an increase of 508 cases in the last 24 hours, according to the Union Health Ministry.

While the number of active COVID-19 cases stood at 4,312, as many as 352 people were cured and discharged and one has migrated to another country, it stated. The total number of cases include 66 foreign nationals.

West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday said her government has identified seven COVID-19 hotspots in the state and was taking necessary measures to break the cycle of transmission.

Banerjee also said that the death toll in the state has risen to five, while the number of active cases stands at 69. On Tuesday, eight new coronavirus cases were reported.