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Parliament session may be curtailed
Published on 18 Oct. 2008 12:56 AM IST
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The month-long session of parliament that began here Friday may be curtailed with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) saying it should be rescheduled in view of the upcoming festive season and elections in five states, a demand that the Left parties immediately objected to. “It is a matter of regret that the session has been scheduled in the manner it has. It should be rescheduled,” BJP spokesperson Sushma Swaraj told reporters in parliament house. Other BJP leaders, who did not wish to be named, also said the session, which will run till Nov 21, should be rescheduled to enable them campaign for the assembly elections. The Diwali festival will be celebrated Oct 28. Assembly polls in five states - Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram and Rajasthan - which are being viewed as the semi finals ahead of the Lok Sabha elections early next year, will be conducted between Nov 14 and Dec 4. Demanding a full-fledged winter session of parliament, Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Sitaram Yechury added: “There are attempts being made to reschedule this (ongoing) session. We will try our best to stop this.” Communist Party of India (CPI) leader Gurudas Dasgupta went a step further. “The government deliberately scheduled the session in such a way that it doesn’t take place. The dates for the (Diwali and other) festivals were well known. The programme was drawn in such a way that parties like the BJP can demand the dates be changed,” Dasgupta said. “This is political jugglery because the government can now say: ‘On the demand of parties, we have changed the dates’,” he maintained. The current session will be the last substantive sitting of the Lok Sabha before the general elections early next year. The winter session will in all probability be dispensed with; the government is likely to call a brief parliament session in February to pass a vote on account as it will not be able to bring a full budget before the dissolution of the Lok Sabha.

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