About two weeks since the farmers’ agitation hit highways and key roads leading to the has been national capital, politics continues to rage on the issue while the government is scheduled to hold sixth round of talks with the protesters on December 9 over demands to amend three farm laws passed earlier this year.
Several opposition party leaders, including Congress’ Lok Sabha floor leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury has written to the government demanding for an urgent session of Parliament to discuss repealing of the three Acts. In fact, Congress MPs from Punjab and Haryana sat on a dharna at the Jantar Mantar in Delhi over the matter.
Top sources in the government told CNN-News18 these same leaders and political parties who spoke to the government even last week had expressed their reservations about holding a Parliament session amid the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the national capital.
Similar requests had also been made with the Lok Sabha speaker and Rajya Sabha chairman suggesting that it would be too much of a risk for MPs to travel as Delhi witnessed a surge. Government sources said this exposed the opposition’s double speak before the country.
A top Union minister said, “We have been speaking to opposition parties, but it seems some of them have had a change of heart or political compulsions are forcing them now to demand a Parliament session.” So far, no decision has officially been declared on holding a winter session of Parliament.
Many have suggested it would be best to club winter and budget sessions. Custodians of both houses of Parliament have said they are prepared for every situation, but the onus to call for a session is the prerogative of the union government.
The monsoon session of Parliament was curtailed at least a week in advance of its schedule ending October 1 due to close to 40 MPs testing positive and nearly 400 secretariat staff becoming positive during the period. Delhi has witnessed a huge spike in coronavirus cases since Diwali.