Parliament’s winter session likely to start on Dec 15, may spill over to Jan
Finance minister Arun Jaitley told journalists that the session would not overlap with the Gujarat assembly elections and it would be a “regular” session.india Updated: Nov 23, 2017 07:32 IST
The Winter session of the Parliament is likely to start from December 15, a day after the second and final phase of polling in Gujarat, and end on January 5, said government sources.
The cabinet committee on parliamentary affairs, headed by home minister Rajnath Singh, met here on Wednesday to finalise the schedule.
Sources said that the dates of the session were finalised but not declared as they had been sent to President Ram Nath Kovind for his approval and issue of summons.
The decision to extend the session beyond Christmas will give at least 14 working days to the government to push its agenda. While the introduction of a bill to ban triple talaq is high on its priority list, it is also keen to push the Labour Code, the Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance Bill and several other pending legislations.
Opposition parties are preparing to raise issues such as demonetisation, GST glitches and the Rafale deal to corner the government.
Finance minister Arun Jaitley told journalists that the session would not overlap with the Gujarat assembly elections and it would be a “regular” session.
“We are going to ensure that a regular Winter Session is held, but elections and session dates don’t overlap,” he said.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Monday lashed out at the government for delay in announcing the dates, alleging that the ruling dispensation is afraid to face the Parliament.
“Modiji, stop hiding and open the Parliament so the truth of what you did on Rafale can be heard,” Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi tweeted on Tuesday.
Jaitley took potshots at rivals and said, BJP would be busy with the Gujarat poll campaign but he was not sure if its opponents would also be busy.
Sources added that earlier in the month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi told some cabinet colleagues to explore the possibility of extending the Parliament session after the Christmas break. The BJP has also banked on House precedence while deciding the dates, they added.
Jaitley also clarified that even if the Winter Session spilled over to January, it would not be considered as a fresh session.
Scheduling a roughly three-week long session after the Gujarat elections is likely to silence opposition parties as far as its timing is concerned.
First Published: Nov 22, 2017 23:27 IST