Brief Parliament session likely from June 4-12

PTI, May 28, 2014

A brief session of Parliament is proposed to be convened early next month, probably from June 4 to 12, to enable newly-elected members to the Lok Sabha to take oath besides election of Speaker.

The talk in government circles is that it would not act petty on the issue of the Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha which Congress is seeking

Soon after taking over as Parliamentary Affairs Minister today, M Venkaiah Naidu signalled that the government will go the “extra mile” to accommodate the Opposition.

This could be interpreted that the government may not adopt a hardline approach on the issue of recognition of Congress as the main Opposition which could give it the post of the Leader of the Opposition despite the party not having enough numbers.

Naidu, however, steered clear of direct questions on the matter insisting that “we have not discussed the issue”.

Congress has secured just 44 seats in the 16th Lok Sabha, 11 less than one tenth of the strength of the 543-member House required to get the post. The Speaker has the discretion to decide on the issue.

Sources said the Cabinet at its meeting tomorrow is expected to finalise the schedule for the session, the first after the Narendra Modi government has taken over.

Names doing the round for the Speaker’s post include BJP MP Sumitra Mahajan and Deputy Speaker in the last Lok Sabha Karia Munda.

Former Parliamentary Affairs Minister and senior Congress leader Kamal Nath will be the Protem Speaker, who will perform the duties of the office of the Speaker till the election of Speaker.

Nath, who was Minister for Urban Development and Parliamentary Affairs in the last government, won from his pocket-borough of Chhindwara in Madhya Pradesh for the ninth term.

The name of Nath is also doing rounds in Congress circles for the post of the Leader of the Opposition.

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