Govt may cut short sittings in Parliament

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New Delhi, Oct 20 (UNI) Bowing to the pressure of the Opposition, the Government is likely to cut short sittings in Parliament to October 24 to meet again on December eight.

An indication to this effect was given to Leader of the Opposition L K Advani and the NDA parties by Leader of the Lok Sabha Pranab Kumar Mukherjee where the Government had sought the cooperation of the Opposition to pass two supplementary money bills, one concerning Railways and one General.

Following the indications from the Government, Mr Advani convened a meeting of NDA leaders to discuss the rescheduling of the dates of the Parliament Session.

''We have no problems if the session were to be convened on December eight and we may even consider the passing of the money bills,'' BJP spokesperson Sushma Swaraj told newspersons.

She said in view of a string of festivals like Deepavali, Dhanteras and Chhat Pooja and the announcement of dates for the Assembly elections for Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Mizoram, a substantial number of MPs will remain absent from Parliament as their presence in these mass contact events is a must.

''We have no issues if the Government were to announce the session date to December eight and by this time assembly elections in substantial parts of Jammu and Kashmir will also be over," she said.

She said the Parliamentary Affairs Minister is likely to convene a meeting of political parties for arriving at consensus on the proposed new dates.

The BJP has been accusing the UPA of stifling the debate by holding sittings at a time when the MPs cannot attend Parliament due to festivals and elections. Their acceptance of the new dates show that they do not want the Communists and Left parties to take advantage, especially when the DMK is threatening to withdraw from the UPA in the face of the offensive against Tamils in Sri Lanka.

The Left is insisting that the Session be adjourned and prorogued so that they can come up with a No-Confidence Motion. They will not be able to move such a motion because the Dr Manmohan Singh-led UPA government secured a Confidence Vote on July 22. The Constitution provides for transaction of a Confidence or No-Confidence motion only once in a session.

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