Opposition looks to target government on delay in winter session of Parliament

Economic Times, November 13, 2017

New Delhi : The leaders of some Opposition parties have started confabulations on taking on the government over the “delay” in convening the winter session of Parliament.

The leaders have said that this was part of a deliberate attempt to prevent the Opposition from raising ‘uncomfortable questions’ on the floor of the House while the campaign for Gujarat polls was on in full swing. Some of the parties are considering the option of jointly taking up the matter with the President.

For the record, AICC spokesperson Manish Tewari said on Monday that his party would exercise “all democratic options” to mobile and intensify protest against the attempt to “subvert the parliamentary system.”

Congress insiders later said that some Opposition leaders including Anand Sharma of Congress, Sitaram Yechury of CPM, Sharad Yadav of JDU rebel group and some others have held informal discussions for exploring the possibility of a joint Opposition agitation over the issue.

Acknowledging that various Opposition parties were in touch with each other on the issue and maintaining the government had already been made aware of the Opposition’s feeling on the issue, deputy leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Anand Sharma, said “Gujarat elections can’t be a reason for the government to delay the Parliament session. We see government’s deliberate attempt to scuttle the session because it is scared to face difficult questions on the floor of Parliament when BJP is already feeling the heat of the campaign in Gujarat.”

CPM chief Yechury said “ever since the BJP government assumed office in 2014, there has been systematic attempts to undermine the functioning of Parliament, including attempts to bypass the Rajya Sabha by introducing all kinds of bills as money bills. Now the government is trying to undo the winter session itself as it wants to prevent the Opposition from raising issues such as the disastrous consequences of demonetisation and GST to issues of farmers to the Jay Shah-Shaurya Doval issues.”

Tewari said: “We want to ask the government why the delay in convening winter session of Parliament, which usually starts in the third week of November.

Clearly, the government is running away from convening session when burning issues such as the aftermath of demeonetisation, GST, state of economy are bound to be raised in the Houses.”

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