Winter session of Parliament likely from 19 November
Livemint, October 22, 2015
The government is
likely to convene the crucial winter session of Parliament from
The proceedings are likely to be influenced to a great extent by
the outcome of the ongoing elections to the Bihar assembly; the
results will be declared on 8 November.
committee on parliamentary affairs (CCPA) met on Wednesday and
decided that a final call on the dates for the winter session
will be taken on 26 October. The committee also chalked out a
plan to observe 19 November as Constitution Day and discussed
the possibility of holding a day-long debate on the making of
the Constitution. CCPA also took stock of 53 bills pending in
the Rajya Sabha.
The last Parliament
session in this year is likely to be stormy for the government
as opposition parties are planning to corner the Bharatiya
Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) on the
recent spurt in communal violence, including the lynching of a
50-year-old man in Dadri, issues related to beef bans and the
torching of two sleeping Dalit children in Faridabad on Tuesday
Senior leaders of
the opposition Congress party have indicated they will be
reaching out to like-minded political parties to create a united
front to corner the government. Congress leaders also want to
raise issues related to the recent attack on journalist and
former BJP member Sudheendra Kulkarni, the killing of
rationalist M.M. Kalburgi and the move by several writers to
return their Sahitya Akademi awards to the government in protest
over rising intolerance.
However, a senior
BJP leader said, ?Instead of criticizing the Union government
and trying to block development by not allowing Parliament to
function, it is for the Congress party to explain why Kalburgi
was murdered because it happened in Karnataka, it is for
Samajwadi Party to explain what happened in Dadri. Both these
states are ruled by parties that are in the opposition at the
Centre, and by blaming the NDA government at the Centre they
will not be able to escape their responsibility.?
Members of the NDA
argue the government is also in a difficult spot because three
crucial alliance partners?the Shiromani Akali Dal, Telugu Desam
Party and Peoples Democratic Party?have openly criticized some
BJP leaders for what is seen as their out-of-turn comments after
visiting Dadri in Uttar Pradesh.
It took a rebuke
from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and finance minister Arun
Jaitley to rein in these BJP members of Parliament.
government, on its part, is likely to push its economic reform
agenda in this session and will try to build a consensus on the
passage of a constitutional amendment bill to allow a goods and
services tax. The crucial bill was expected to be passed in the
monsoon session of Parliament, but the government failed to
build consensus on it.
Much of the monsoon
session was also disrupted because of corruption allegations
levelled against foreign minister Sushma Swaraj, Rajasthan chief
minister Vasundhara Raje and Madhya Pradesh chief minister
Shivraj Singh Chouhan.
Another crucial bill
pending before Parliament is the controversial land acquisition
bill. The joint parliamentary committee is likely to give its
report on the bill on the last day of the first week of
Parliament. Also pending are the real estate bill, the factories
amendment bill and the juvenile justice care and protection of
children bill. Among crucial bills which may be taken up for
discussion in Parliament are the bankruptcy code bill, and
amendments to the RBI Act to set up a Public Debt Management
Authority and a Monetary Policy Committee.
?The result of the
Bihar elections will play a crucial role in the way winter
session of Parliament shapes up. There have been a spate of
incidents since the previous monsoon session and now, including
certain communal incidents, the beef controversy and Sahitya
Akademi winners returning their awards?which I think is the most
potent issue for cultural rights, and will be used by the
opposition parties to attack the government,? said Abhay Kumar
Dubey, a Delhi-based political analyst associated with the
Centre for the Study of Developing Societies.
?The Bihar elections
are crucial because the BJP?s electoral success is directly
linked with the performance in Parliament. If they win, the Modi-led
government will get a new lease of life in Parliament because
they are already out of breath on several issues; but if they
lose, the entire opposition will enter into a process of
uniting?a political unity...in the winter session,? he added.
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