The government is thinking of breaking tradition and doing away with the recess of three weeks during the Budget Session in view of five coming state elections in quick succession. The assembly polls in Tamil Nadu, Assam, Kerala, West Bengal and Puducherry are likely to be held between April and May.
The Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs (CCPS), headed by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, is set to meet on February 4 to take a final call on the schedule for the session.
The Budget Session, normally, begins in the third or fourth week of February. This year, the session is expected to begin on February 23. The Railway Budget is likely to be presented on February 25 and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will present the Union Budget on February 29.
While the session normally concludes in late April or early May, the recess is meant to enable department-related standing committees to examine demands for grants of ministries.
According to sources, the government this year is considering a proposal to have this session without any break to allow MPs to concentrate on the elections. The government has also, formally, started consulting opposition parties over the matter. Sources added that an ongoing Parliament session during the poll process might prevent MPs, including PM and ministers, from sparing time for the campaign.
Speaking about the proposal, Subhash Kashyap, former secretary general of Lok Sabha said, “As such there is nothing technically wrong in doing away with the tradition of a recess period. Before 1989, the Budget Session had no recess. The standing committees were introduced in 1989, so the break in Budget Session came only after that.”