Direct govt to convene session: Cong asks Prez

Direct govt to convene session: Cong asks Prez

Congress leaders have written to President Ram Nath Kovind over the delay in convening the Winter Session of Parliament, contending that not holding one would set an "unhealthy precedent".

"We urge upon you to direct the government to summon Parliament at the earliest...," Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, Mallikarjun Kharge, Anand Sharma, Jyotiraditya Scindia and Deepender Hooda stated in a letter to the President.

They accused the government of delaying the Winter Session "without ascribing any justification".

"The institution of Parliament is integral to the functioning of our democracy. Regular sessions of Parliament provide the only forum and opportunity to elected representatives to raise matters of national importance and issues of urgent public interest," the letter stated.

The Congress leaders claimed that the apparent reason informally mentioned by the government for "delaying" the session is the Gujarat Assembly election.

"In the past, too, many state Assembly elections were held when Parliament was in session but no session was deferred on the grounds of an election," the Congress leaders argued.

They told the President that the government was avoiding facing Parliament and answering questions on its "flawed and unpopular" policies and decisions, and "rampant corruption".

The Congress leaders argued that the MPs were denied the timely opportunity to discharge their constitutional duties.

"It is also pertinent to mention that the Winter Session is preceded by the longest inter-session break after the Monsoon Session vis--vis all other inter-session breaks. Thus, not convening Winter Session on time will set an unhealthy precedent," they said.

Later, at a press conference, the Congress leaders also took exception to media reports stating that the Winter Session was likely to be held between December 15 and January 5.

"The dates you mentioned, there is no regard to any sentiment, no regard to religious festivities, no regard to convenience it is an arbitrary 'farmaan' (order), a Tughlaqi 'farmaan," Congress spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhvi said.

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