MPs from poll-bound States seek curtailed Budget session

Members of the Lok Sabha during the Budget Session of Parliament.

Sources say Speaker will arrive at a decision only after ascertaining the ‘sense of the House’ on the matter

Lok Sabha members hailing from the poll-bound West Bengal, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry have requested an early curtailment of the second part of the Budget session that began on Monday morning.

Sources said nearly 145 MPs have written to Speaker Om Birla for the same.

On Monday, during the Business Advisory Committee (BAC) of the Lok Sabha, floor leaders of various parties advanced the same view. While Trinamool Congress (TMC) and DMK leaders were not present at the meet, the issue was discussed.

Mr. Birla met with some leaders one on one to get a sense of the situation and the sources said he would arrive at a decision only after ascertaining the “sense of the House” on the matter.

While the Shiv Sena said they would go with whatever the government decides on the issue, the YSRCP was one of the few parties that felt the days lost if the session is curtailed should be made up.

2011 and 2008 precedents

The Trinamool Congress, in letters addressed to both Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu and Mr. Birla, pointed to the 2011 and 2008 precedents, when the session was similarly curtailed .

In the letter to Mr. Naidu, TMC national spokesperson and Rajya Sabha floor leader Derek O’Brien said due to the polls, MPs of his party would not be able to attend the Parliament session. He cited the example of the 222nd session, which commenced on February 21, 2011, and was scheduled to conclude on April 21, 2011. However, due to Assembly elections in Assam, Kerala, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal, the House was adjourned sine die on March 25, 2011.

The second instance he provided was the 214th session, which commenced on October 17, 2008, and was adjourned early on October 24, 2008, to meet again on 10 December 2008. The session, as per the original schedule, was to continue up to November 21, 2008. However, due to upcoming Assembly elections in some States, the House was adjourned till December 10, 2008. “I am optimistic you will consider this proposal of ours,” he stated.

TMC leader Sudip Bandopadhyay had written to Mr. Birla in February that due to campaign commitments in West Bengal, MPs from his party will be unable to attend Parliament, and requested that the session itself be curtailed.

The government has started reaching out to the Opposition parties seeking to close the session early. A section of Congress leaders supports the demand, including Adhhir Ranjan Chadhhary, but the rest of the party feel that it will send a wrong message.

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