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The Left has charged the United Progressive Alliance government with “running away" from Parliament.

There is some truth in that charge. Parliamentary best practice requires that there be sittings for at least 100 days in a year. This year, only 34 sittings have taken place, the Left Front, an ally-turned-foe of the government, has charged.

The government is clearly on a sticky wicket. With a wafer-thin majority, it does not want to risk doing anything that could result in a loss of face and power—not in the run-up to elections in key states later this year, and the Lok Sabha sometime next year.

While this is well known, what has riled many is the manner in which the government is “hiding" behind technicalities. Parliamentary affairs minister Vayalar Ravi has dismissed these allegations. His argument: The rules permit a gap of six months between two sessions of Parliament.

At the same time, one cannot ignore the Left Front’s bitterness at being “cheated" by the government. Hence its accusation that government is running away. In that sense, the Left is a loser too.

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