NEW DELHI: With political parties already beginning their preparations for elections to five State assemblies, the Modi government is also thinking of curtailing the budget session of Parliament so that MPs can hit the campaign trail early.
To discuss the issue with opposition parties, the government has convened an all-party meeting on Thursday. The all-party meeting will take place ahead of the meeting of the cabinet committee on parliamentary affairs the same day to discuss the budget session dates. The terms of the Legislative Assemblies of Assam, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Kerala and Puducherry expire between May and June and elections may be held in April-May as per schedule.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu will hold discussions with leaders of the opposition parties on Thursday to come to an understanding to end the budget session early. The government is likely to cite the 2011 example when during the same set of assembly elections, the budget session ended on March 30.
That year, the session was to adjourn for recess on March 16 to reassemble on April 21. But when polls were announced, it was agreed between the UPA government and the Opposition to reschedule the session and conclude it on March 25 after completing the financial business. To have enough sittings during the budget session to finish the legislative agenda, the government can even propose to start the session as early as February 15 or February 23. Though the government may try to bring in key legislations, they are unlikely to be passed given the host of issues on which the opposition parties are set to corner it.
These issues could range from the recent suicide of the Dalit scholar in the University of Hyderabad to the National Herald case.