Parliament to reconvene Dec 10

October 24th, 2008 - 6:28 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata PartyNew Delhi, Oct 24 (IANS) The month-long parliament session that commenced last Friday and was to last till Nov 21 will now reconvene Dec 10 in view of the upcoming festive season and assembly elections in five states, it was announced Friday.It was originally thought that the session would reconvene Dec 8 as had been suggested by Leader of Opposition L.K. Advani of the Bharatiya Janata Party after a telephonic conversation between External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, who is the leader of the Lok Sabha.

However, the presiding officers of the two houses, after discussions with the leaders of all the political parties in parliament, decided to reconvene the house Dec 10, sources said.

According to the sources, when Advani suggested Dec 8 Mukherjee pointed out that assembly elections would be underway at that time in Jammu and Kashmir, where staggered polls would be held Nov 17-Dec 24.

Even so, Advani is said to have replied that by Dec 8, crucial polls in Delhi, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram and Rajasthan, which are being considered the semifinal ahead of general elections early next year, would be over. In fact, the votes cast would be counted Dec 8.

It was also not immediately clear how long the rescheduled session would last.

The BJP had last week demanded that the parliament session be rescheduled in view of the Diwali festival Oct 28 and the assembly elections. The Left parties had immediately opposed this, also demanding that a full-fledged winter session be called.

The rescheduling makes clear what has been known for weeks: that the government would dispense with the winter session and instead call a brief session in February 2009 to pass a vote-on-account as a full-fledged budget cannot be presented in an election year.

The winter session normally begins in mid-November and lasts till just before Christmas.

The ruling Congress is believed to be opposed to a winter session as it anticipates the opposition could move a no-confidence motion.

Toward this, the present session has been termed part two of the July 21-22 session that was called to enable the government seek a trust vote after the Left parties withdrew their support on the India-US civilian nuclear deal.

Two trust votes cannot be moved in one session.

When the house reconvenes, it would be meeting for the third part of the session.

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