Parliament's monsoon session delayed, to begin Aug 1

Parliament's monsoon session delayed, to begin Aug 1

Parliament's monsoon session delayed, to begin Aug 1

"The monsoon session will be held Aug 1 to Sep 8," Parliamentary Affairs Minister P.K. Bansal told reporters. Asked if the contentious anti-graft Lokpal bill will be introduced during the five-week session, Bansal said: "The government is serious about all business."

The session is expected to be tumultuous as opposition is likely to train its guns on the government over inflation and corruption.  The opposition may also raise the draft report of the Comptroller and Auditor General on approving an increase in capital expenditure by RIL for developing gas fields in the Krishna Godavari basin.

The opposition, particularly the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), is expected to put the government in the dock on the midnight operation by Delhi Police to evict yoga guru Baba Ramdev and his supporters from Delhi's Ramluila Ground June 4.

Apart from the Lokpal bill, two other bills likely to be taken up during the session are the Food Security Bill and the Land Acquisition Bill.  The session may also see another attempt to table the women's reservation bill in the Lok Sabha.  Speaker Meira Kumar has convened a meeting of leaders of all political parties Wednesday to discuss the bill, which has been passed by the Rajya Sabha.

The budget session of parliament, which began Feb 25 and was to last till May 7, was curtailed March 25 account of the April-May elections in four states and one union territory.

Earlier, the winter session in November-December 2010 was washed out after the government repeatedly refused to accede to an opposition demand for a joint parliamentary committee probe into the allocation of 2G spectrum that is said to have caused a colossal loss to the national exchequer. The committee was later established.

Meanwhile, the BJP chided the government for not calling the monsoon session in mid-July as is the practice. It said that the government is "nervous" to come before parliament as many issues are to be taken up. "But there is no way out. And so, sooner or latter, the government will have to come to the parliament," BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Husain told reporters Tuesday.

Lawyer turned crusader against corruption Prashant Bhushan said: "If it is only delayed by a week, we don't have much to say about that. We hope that the government will keep to its promise of bringing an effective Lokpal bill in the monsoon session," Bhushan said.

"It should be an effective bill, not just a bill called the Lokpal bill," he emphasized.