Budget session of Parliament may conclude before 1st phase of state polls

Several parties had requested that the session, which was scheduled to continue till April 8, be curtailed due to the state elections
The Budget Session of Parliament is likely to be cut short and may conclude before the first phase of elections on March 27, sources said even as the two Houses will resume their normal timing of 11 am onwards from Tuesday.

While Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla made an announcement about resumption of normal timings in the House, a similar announcement was made by the Chair in Rajya Sabha earlier in the day.

Birla said Lok Sabha members would also sit in galleries, apparently to maintain distancing norms. Birla made the announcement when the House met at 5 pm after an hour-long adjournment after paying tributes to two sitting and seven former members who died recently.

“This is a happy news for all the members. On the request received from many members from various parties, the Chairman (M Venkaiah Naidu) has decided that from tomorrow, Tuesday, March 9, 2021, the sitting of Rajya Sabha will commence from 11 am up to 6 pm, as per usual timings of the House. 

“The members will be seated in the Rajya Sabha chamber and the galleries only, with some distancing,” Vandana Chavan, who was presiding over the proceedings of the upper house, said.

Several parties had requested that the session, which was scheduled to continue till April 8, be curtailed due to the state elections. A final decision would also be taken by Birla who met floor leaders of parties on the matter earlier in the day.

Floor leaders of various political parties on Monday urged Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla to curtail the Budget Session to allow them focus on the assembly polls in four states and one union territory.

At a meeting of Lok Sabha’s Business Advisory Committee, Birla spoke with various floor leaders on a one-on-one basis to take a sense on curtailing the session which began on Monday.

Members of the Trinamool Congress and the DMK did not attend the meeting. Sources said the Biju Janata Dal was of the view that assembly elections keep taking place every few months and the session should not be curtailed on this ground.

YSR Congress Party member P V Midhun Reddy said if the current session is curtailed, the next session should be longer.

Some members said nearly 145 members have written to the Speaker seeking curtailment of the session.

In a letter to the Rajya Sabha chairperson, TMC national spokesperson and RS member Derek O'Brien said due to the polls, MPs of his party would not be able to attend the Parliament session.

TMC MP Sudeep Bandyopadhyay has also written to the Lok Sabha Speaker on the same issue, requesting that Parliament be adjourned due to the polls.

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