Published: Fri, November 24, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Winter Session of Parliament slated for Dec 15 to Jan 5

Winter Session of Parliament slated for Dec 15 to Jan 5

The Winter Session of Parliament is scheduled to be held from December 15 to January 5, a day after the second phase of voting for Gujarat election.

"The delay in announcing the dates for Parliament session triggered a war of words between the BJP and Congress. Gandhi said, "... in order to avoid the questions and answer ahead of Gujarat elections, the government has taken the extraordinary step of not holding a winter session when it should be held". The session is expected to have around 14 sittings and will be one of the shortest in the last 10 years.

The schedule will nearly certainly upset the vacation plans of several MPs, who had planned a year-end break after the session concluded. The House will not meet on two days, December 24 and 25, for Christmas, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar was quoted as saying by news agency ANI. But there is only the weekend break on December 30 and 31.

The Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs, chaired by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, had met on November 22 to decide on the dates for the session. Elections and Parliament sessions generally do not overlap. "So even when general elections are held, you finish the budget session in the first week of March so that by the time campaign begins, Parliament is over".

For the past few days, the Congress and the BJP were in loggerheads over the delay in convening the Winter Session with the opposition party claiming that the government was doing so to avoid a debate on "scams", including the Rafale deal, during the Gujarat polls.

Anant Kumar has also appealed the Opposition to make the session successful, "I appeal the opposition and political parties to participate and make the Parliament Session fruitful".

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