The NDA government may shorten the ongoing budget session of Parliament after Opposition parties demanded more time for campaigning for the assembly elections in four states and one Union Territory.
The Left, Congress, AIADMK and DMK demanded “readjustment” of the Parliament session, keeping in mind the poll schedule that ends on May 16. The budget session is slated till May 13.
Parliamentary affairs minister Venkaiah Naidu, sources said, has asked his two junior ministers, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Rajiv Pratap Rudy, to talk to different parties to build a consensus to curtail the session by at least a week.
Two phases in West Bengal, the whole of Tamil Nadu and Kerala are yet to go to polls. The Left, Congress, Trinamool, DMK and AIADMK are finding it tough to shuffle their MPs between attending Parliament and campaigning for the elections. On Tuesday, when PM Narendra Modi went around greeting Opposition leaders in Rajya Sabha, sources said Sitaram Yechury told Modi the session can be rescheduled till campaigns are over. “Not a bad idea. You should talk to Arun Jaitley,” the PM reportedly told him.
Yechury told HT, “The poll schedule was not declared when the budget session was originally planned. In between, the government prorogued it last month to bring the ordinance on Uttarakhand finance bill. This new session should be readjusted as leaders are campaigning. Let there be another part after the campaign gets over on May 13.”
While the BJP may not have high stakes in these states, the regional parties are engaged in key battles. The Left has high stakes in Kerala, Bengal while Congress is trying to retain power in Kerala. In Bengal, the Congress is eyeing a comeback with the help of the Left.