Tribune News Service
New Delhi, November 14
The ruling BJP would find itself on the wrong side of convention if it decides to entirely drop the winter session of Parliament on account of the ensuing Gujarat elections this year.
Delayed commencement of the winter session on account of the state elections is not unprecedented though. There have been instances in the past where the government of the day convened the winter session after the completion of polling in a section of states witnessing elections in the given season.
This is true of the Assembly election cycle of November-December 2003, 2008 and 2013 which saw major states such as Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh go to polls. In 2003, the winter session started on December 2 after the last date of polling (December 1) in Rajasthan and Delhi. The session concluded on December 23, 2003.
Likewise during the 2008 state elections, the winter session commenced on December 10 after the last date of polling (December 4) in Rajasthan. The session ended on December 28 that year.
In 2013, the polling in the above mentioned states was fixed from November 11 to December 4. A truncated winter session was held between December 5 and 18, 2013.
By this standard, the BJP government may well call the winter session this year after the Gujarat polling ends on December 14, though this will be the most delayed commencement of winter session ever.
The maximum the winter session commencement was delayed was in 2013 when it started on December 5. Importantly, there have equally been cases where polling schedules have not impacted the winter session dates.
For instance in 2002 when the Gujarat election was held in December, the winter session followed the usual November-December cycle and was scheduled between November 18 and December 20. In 2007 again, the Gujarat elections were held on December 11 and 16 but a short winter session was held from November 15 to December 7. Similarly in 2012, the Gujarat election was held on December 13 and 17 but the winter session progressed routinely from November 22 to December 20.
The history of winter session commencements, perused by The Tribune from Lok Sabha records, further confirms that the sessions have always been held and never dropped.
News Courtesy : TOI,Tribune