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Govt calls special five-day session of Parliament from September 18

Success of Chandrayaan-3, Amrit Kaal goals, and G20 likely on agenda


Parliament (Photo: PTI)

Archis Mohan New Delhi

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The government will convene a special session of Parliament for five days between September 18 and 22, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said on Thursday but didn’t reveal the agenda.

“Amid Amrit Kaal looking forward to having fruitful discussion and debate in Parliament,” Joshi posted on X. He said the special session — the 13th of the 17th Lok Sabha and 261st of the Rajya Sabha — would have five sittings. 

The special session, sources said, could see parliamentary proceedings in the new building of Parliament, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated on May 28. 

The session will be days after the G20 Summit in the national capital on September 9 and 10 and a day after the proposed launch of the Prime Minister Vishwakarma Scheme on the Vishwakarma Day on September 17. The day is also PM Modi’s birthday, which the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) celebrates as ‘seva diwas’. The BJP marks the fortnight from the PM’s birthday to October 2, the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, as ‘sewa pakhwara’ or fortnight in the service of people.

Apart from hosting the G20 Summit, the historic success of the Chandrayaan-3 mission and India’s goals for ‘Amrit Kaal’ could be part of the broader discussions during the special session, a source said. Three parliamentary sessions are usually held annually — the Budget, monsoon, and winter sessions. The 17th Lok Sabha is left with only the winter session and a truncated Budget session in February for a vote on accounts.

Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said the five-day session just three weeks after the monsoon session was aimed at managing “the news cycle” and countering the news about the meeting of INDIA bloc (Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance) parties in Mumbai and the latest revelations on Adani Group. “Regardless, the joint parliamentary committee demand (on the Adani issue) will continue to resonate inside and outside Parliament,” the Congress MP said. 

Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Priyanka Chaturvedi posted on X that the special session called during “India's most important festival of Ganesh Chaturthi is unfortunate and goes against the Hindu sentiments. Surprised at their choice of dates”. Ganesh Chaturthi will be celebrated on September 19.

Some of the government’s pending legislative agenda includes the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, the Bharatiya Sakshya Bill, the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita, all three introduced on the last day of the monsoon session on August 11 and referred to a parliamentary standing committee.

The Bills seek to replace the Indian Penal Code, the Indian Evidence Act, and the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. The government also introduced a Bill to change the committee’s composition to nominate election commissioners.

According to the Constitution, Parliament should have a minimum of two sessions in a year, and the gap between two sessions should not be more than six months. A special session until September 22 would allow the government the option of skipping the winter session and holding a truncated session in the latter half of February, the last session of the 17th Lok Sabha before it gets dissolved.

There have been several special sessions, but mostly to do with the Rajya Sabha, such as its 33rd Session (1961) of Rajya Sabha for passing the Budget of Orissa, which was under the President's Rule, or 99th Session on February 28-March 1, 1977, at the time the Lok Sabha stood dissolved, for extension of the President’s Rule in Tamil Nadu and Nagaland. The Rajya Sabha’s 158th session on June 3-4 1991 was held to approve the President's Rule in Haryana since the country had the Lok Sabha elections at the time. 

In August 1997, a six-day special session to commemorate the 50th anniversary of India's independence was held.

The special session will be held barely a fortnight before the Election Commission is likely to announce the poll dates for Telangana, Mizoram, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh Assembly polls. The terms of these Assemblies end in January 2024 — Chhattisgarh on January 3, MP on January 6, Rajasthan on January 14, and Telangana on January 16. The term of the Mizoram Assembly ends on December 17. 


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First Published: Aug 31 2023 | 9:35 PM IST

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