Government announces special parliament session, agenda not yet disclosedtext_fields
New Delhi: The government of India has declared a "special session of Parliament" scheduled to convene from September 18 to 22, with five sittings.
According to Union Minister Pralhad Joshi's announcement on X (formerly Twitter), productive discussions and debates are anticipated during this period, coinciding with the Amrit Kaal festivities.
While the government sources have not revealed the specific agenda for the special session, there have been speculations surrounding the purpose of this session. One possibility is that it might mark the beginning of the transition from the old to the new Parliament building, potentially commencing in the old structure and concluding in the new one, reported NDTV.
Additionally, there is a likelihood that this session might not be a joint session of both the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.
Although no official confirmation has been provided, government sources have hinted that the agenda could encompass celebrations related to Amrit Kaal and India's recognition as a 'developed nation'. There is no indication of any significant legislative bill being slated for passage during this session.
In response to the announcement, various opposition leaders have criticised the timing of the special session.
Those from Maharashtra particularly noted that the scheduled dates overlap with the prominent Hindu festival of Ganesh Chaturthi. Shiv Sena UBT's Priyanka Chaturvedi expressed her discontent, stating, "This special session called during India's most important festival of Ganesh Chaturthi is unfortunate and goes against Hindu sentiments. Surprised at choice of dates!"
The Nationalist Congress Party's Supriya Sule appealed for the session to be rescheduled, taking the festival into consideration. "Just read about the upcoming Special Parliament Session (13th Session of 17th Lok Sabha & 261st Session of Rajya Sabha) happening from Sep 18-22. Whilst we all look forward towards meaningful discussions and dialogue, the dates coincide with the Ganpati Festival, a major festival in Maharashtra. Urging the Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister to take the above into consideration," she tweeted.
The Congress party has also weighed in on the matter. Party spokesperson Jairam Ramesh termed the special session as "managing the news cycle, Modi style", citing the ongoing opposition meeting in Mumbai as a significant factor. Ramesh stated, "Managing the News Cycle, Modi style. 1. News today has been dominated by latest revelations on the Modani-scam. 2. Tomorrow the ever-growing INDIA parties meet in Mumbai." He highlighted the timing as a strategic response to control the news narrative.
The special session aligns with the third meeting of the opposition bloc I.N.D.I.A. It also coincides with recent significant developments, such as India's hosting of the G20 Summit in Delhi between September 8 and 10.
This session is also taking place after the government's affirmation in the Supreme Court regarding the potential conduct of elections in Jammu and Kashmir. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta clarified that the decision on election scheduling lies within the authority of central and state poll bodies. However, the government remains unable to provide an exact timeline for the restoration of statehood to Jammu and Kashmir, as indicated during a court hearing.
The preceding Parliament session was the Monsoon Session, held from July 20 to August 12, during which the government successfully passed 23 bills. The session was characterised by opposition protests on various issues, including the Manipur violence and debates concerning the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2023. The session featured an intense three-day-long debate on a 'no confidence' motion introduced by the Congress and the Bharat Rashtra Samithi, setting the stage for significant political developments leading up to the 2024 Lok Sabha battle.