In the all-party meeting convened by Lok Sabha, Speaker Meira Kumar, a consensus emerged among political parties on extending the Winter session- which will have only 12 working days- after a week-long break on Dec 20. Though the Telangana Bill does not figure in the government’s agenda for the session, several parties have demanded that it be passed in this session. “Our government is committed to the formation of Telangana and it will be our effort to make full use of due process of law to ensure that Telangana does come about,” Manmohan Singh told reporters.
He was replying to a question on whether the government will bring the Telangana Bill in the Winter session beginning on Thursday.
With the government listing a heavy legislative agenda comprising 38 bills for passage and the other parties demanding discussions on key issues, all leaders agreed that the session should be extended.
Government has already declared that passage of Women’s Reservation Bill and Lokpal Bill will be its top priority. The briefest session of the 15th Lok Sabha is expected to generate heat. The Prime Minister said the government is in talks with various political parties to ensure smooth passage of essential bills. “Whatever urgent financial business is there will have to be transacted on a priority basis,” he said. Finance Minister P Chidambaram is likely to meet Leader of the Opposition of both Houses. While Women’s Reservation Bill has been approved by the Rajya Sabha and is pending in the Lok Sabha, the Lokpal Bill has been cleared by the Lok Sabha and is pending in the Upper House. With changes in the Lokpal Bill, it will have to be again passed by the Lower House. Samajwadi Party, whose support is crucial for UPA government, has threatened to disrupt Parliament if the Women’s Bill or the SC/ST reservation in promotion Bill is taken up. Speaker Meira Kumar said all parties have assured full cooperation in smooth functioning of the House. She said the Women’s Bill has been pending for long and now there is an increasing demand for its passage. (PTI)