Gujarat assembly elections threatens upcoming winter session of Parliament
New Delhi: With the two main political parties, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress, busy with the ongoing election campaign in Gujarat, some in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) want a delay in the upcoming winter session of Parliament.
Senior leaders of the BJP argue that since many parliamentarians would be busy in election campaigning, especially those from Gujarat, work in both the houses of Parliament could get affected. Last year, winter session commenced on 16 November and saw 22 sittings of both the Houses.
“A large section of parliamentarians, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, ministers in the union government and many senior Congress leaders, would be busy in the election campaign in Gujarat which could adversely impact the winter session. Most of the 37 Members of Parliament (MPs), 26 from Lok Sabha and 11 of Rajya Sabha, would also be involved in campaigning, so there is a view that should the government delay of postpone the winter session,” said a senior minister in the Union government, on the condition of anonymity.
“If most of the BJP and Congress leaders would be busy in Gujarat, then only leaders of the third front would be in Parliament. It would be difficult to hold discussions on most of the important legislations in the absence of several MPs,” the minister said.
However, opposition parties want to use Parliament session against the government and are hoping that could have an impact on the Gujarat poll campaign.
Opposition parties are preparing to counter the Union government on issues of demonetisation anniversary and the alleged problems related to the implementation of the goods and services tax (GST).
Opposition parties under the leadership of Congress have already met twice to talk about the two issues and take it up at the national level both inside and outside Parliament. The opposition parties are also in the process of discussing how the two issues could be taken up for discussion in debates.
The Union government is also under pressure because a select committee has to submit a report on the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2017 and Congress president Sonia Gandhi has urged the government to start a discussion on women’s reservation bill. The Congress leadership is of the view that since both NDA and Congress have been backing the women’s reservation bill, its passage shouldn’t be delayed further.