No Parl Winter Session Citing COVID; Oppn Questions Poll Campaigns
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi confirmed the same in a letter to Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Choudhary.
There will be no Winter Session of Parliament due to the COVID-19 pandemic this year, the Centre has officially stated.
While the government said that all parties were consulted before making the decision, the Congress has alleged that even the Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha was not aware of it.
What Reasons Did the Government Cite?
The decision came to light when Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi responded to a letter written by Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhary, demanding a Session to discuss the new farm laws.
“Winter months are very crucial for managing the pandemic because of recent spurt in cases during this period, particularly in Delhi,” the letter by Joshi said, as quoted by PTI.
“At present, we are in the middle of December and a COVID vaccine is expected very soon. In this regard, I have informally contacted floor leaders of various political parties and they have expressed their concerns about the ongoing pandemic and opined of doing away with Winter Session,” the letter further said.
“Government is willing to have the next session of the Parliament at the earliest; it would be appropriate to have the Budget Session, 2021, in January; 2021 keeping in mind the unprecedented circumstances created by COVID-19 pandemic,” Joshi wrote, as quoted by PTI.
Not Consulted, Says Cong; Others Question Hyderabad Election Rallies
The Congress, meanwhile, has alleged that neither Chowdhary, the leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha, nor Ghulam Nabi Azad, Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, were consulted regarding scrapping of the Session.
Karanataka Congress leader Srivatsa took a jibe at the decision calling it #TooMuchDemocracy.
Taking to Twitter, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) pointed fingers at the recent campaign by Home Minister Amit Shah and other BJP leaders for the Hyderabad civic polls.
Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi said that all public entities and setups are allowed to open but the Parliament isn’t.
Maharashtra Congress Leader Sachin Sawant targeted the state’s Opposition and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis, who had raised concerns about a shorter Winter Session of the Maharashtra Assembly.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Slams Congress
Joshi told ANI that the decision was taken considering the rising COVID-19 cases in Delhi and questioned the Congress over demanding a shorter session in September.
“Many people with whom I have spoken have suggested that the Budget Session directly conducted because the number of COVID-19 cases are increasing in Delhi[sic.],” he said.
“Many leaders have advised me that we can go for the Budget Session directly as we have completed a session very recently. I would like to ask the Congress why they had asked for an early conclusion of the September session and are demanding another session now,” Joshi said, as quoted by ANI.
The Constitution states that there should not be a gap of more than six months between two sessions of the Parliament. The Parliament, however, meets thrice every year for the Budget, Monsoon and Winter sessions.
(With inputs from NDTV)
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