Centre blinks, announces plan
for a ‘regular’ Winter Session
Businessline, November 22, 2017
A day after the
Opposition lambasted the Centre over delay in convening Winter
Session of Parliament, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said here
on Wednesday that a regular session will be held such that it
doesn’t overlap with the schedule of Gujarat Assembly elections.
Meanwhile, a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary
Affairs (CCPA) met here on the possible dates for convening the
session. Indications are that the Cabinet will recommend to
President Ram Nath Kovind that the Winter Session be held from
December 15 to January 5. The Centre may also consider a
four-five day recess during the Christmas holidays.
Effectively, the session will be held for about 12 days, a
government source indicated. In that scenario, the House will be
convened only after the Gujarat Assembly polls. The last phase
of polling is on December 14.
Talking to reporters after a meeting of the Cabinet, Jaitley
said the Winter Session schedule will not overlap with the
Gujarat polls. He added that in a democracy, when elections are
on, political parties address the people directly. “Normally the
elections and Parliament session don’t overlap. Therefore, we
are going to ensure that a regular Winter Session is held, but
elections and session dates don’t overlap,” he said.
When asked if the session that begins in December can continue
in January without the customary address of the President,
Jaitley said the custom is that if the session spills over to
January, it is not considered a fresh (second) session. “The
President addresses the first session of a calendar year,” he
The Congress has been saying the BJP is scared of facing
Parliament, and hence avoiding convening a session. The BJP said
the Congress had also delayed or curtailed the session in the
past for various reasons.
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