NEW DELHI: The Congress on Monday slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for delaying the Winter Session of the Parliament saying he feared that criticism of Government’s policies can dent the BJP’s prospects in Gujarat polls.
The Winter Session usually begins by the third week of November and lawmakers are alerted by November 5, but there was no clarity over the date till now because the Government wanted to avoid questions related to demonetisation, GST, Kashmir, Pakistan and the Doklam face-off with China, the Opposition alleged.
According to Parliament sources, there was no information about when the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs would meet to decide the Winter Session’s dates and whether the Session would be curtailed to one week instead of the usual four weeks.
“We would like to ask the Prime Minister and his Government, are they so scared of being hauled over the coals of truth that even the temple of democracy is not being convened,” Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said at an AICC briefing.
“There are vital issues that loom over the nation. The Government must answer them. We demand that the Winter Session be immediately convened. Let not the Assembly election in one state or the other be an excuse for the Government to run away from facing the Parliament,” Tewari said, warning that if the Government does not clear the air soon, the Congress will resort to “other means” to ensure the Parliamentary system is not dented.
“Whatever needs to be done would be done. Under no circumstance would we allow the erosion of Institutions, which has become the sine qua non of this government,” he said.
CPI(M) legislator Mohammed Salim too targeted PM Modi. “The whims and fancies of the Prime Minister are eroding the Parliamentary traditions. The PM does not seem to be interested in running the Parliament, as his prestige is at stake in the Gujarat polls,” Salim told The New Indian Express, adding that “it shows the Government has no business to transact during the Winter Session.”
Though it is desirable that the Parliament should sit for 100 days a year, the target is usually not met. Instead, the attempt by various governments has been to keep the figure on the higher side. This year, the Parliament sat for 48 days—including the Monsoon Session from July 17 to August 11 with 19 sittings and the Budget Session from January 31 to February 9 (Part 1) and March 9 to April 12 (Part 2) with 29 sittings.