Ghulam Nabi Azad is in touch with the 18 Opposition parties and a meeting of the floor leaders of all these parties will be held next week.
New Delhi: Upping the ante over Parliament’s delayed Winter Session, the Opposition parties are planning to petition President Ram Nath Kovind in the matter after holding consultations among themselves next week. Government sources, meanwhile, indicated a decision on the session will be taken at the meeting of the Cabinet Committee of Parliamentary Affairs to be held on November 17.
Sources said Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad was in touch with the 18-party conglomerate of Opposition parties which has come together on a common platform, and a meeting of the floor leaders of all these parties will be held next week. These include the Left parties, DMK, the Sharad Yadav faction of JD(U), the Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party and the Trinamul Congress, besides the Congress.
The 18 parties had first come together to field a joint presidential and vice-presidential candidate from the Opposition side. Since then, they have coordinated on various issues, including protests on the demonetisation anniversary and floor coordination in Parliament. The sources told this newspaper that after informal discussions among the Opposition leaders, it was decided that delaying of the Winter Session needs to be taken up in a big way and the best possible recourse was to petition the President of India.
The Winter Session usually begins in the third week of November. According to convention, MPs are told 15 days in advance for the start of the session.
A senior leader of the Opposition camp said the chances were high that the session would be called on December 11, just a day before campaigning ends on December 12 for the second phase of the Gujarat polls. Gujarat will hold polls on December 9 and 14.
However, government sources indicated the session may be called even in the first week of December. The Congress Party has alleged that the government was not holding the session as it was scared of facing some tough questions over the “hasty” implementation of the Goods and Services Tax, demonetisation and lack of jobs.