The government has announced a “special session of Parliament” to be held from September 18 to 22, with the agenda yet to be declared. Union Minister Pralhad Joshi shared the news on X, expressing hopes for a productive discussion and debate. However, government sources have remained tight-lipped about the possible topics to be discussed.
Speculation suggests that the special session might be convened to initiate the process of shifting from the old Parliament building to the new one. This could mean that the session will begin in the old building and conclude in the new. The government sources also mentioned that the agenda might include Amrit Kaal celebrations and India’s status as a developed nation. However, there is no indication of any significant bills that will be passed during the session.
The timing of the special session has faced criticism from opposition leaders, particularly from Maharashtra. They have highlighted that the dates clash with the Ganesh Chaturthi festival, which they deem as India’s most important festival. Shiv Sena UBT’s Priyanka Chaturvedi expressed disappointment, stating that it goes against Hindu sentiments, while Supriya Sule from the Nationalist Congress Party called for a rescheduling of the session.
The Congress party has also reacted to the announcement, with party spokesperson Jairam Ramesh describing it as “managing the news cycle, Modi style.” He drew attention to the mega opposition meet in Mumbai and claimed that the special session was an attempt to divert attention from recent controversies, such as the Modani-scam. On the other hand, the timing coincides with the third meeting of the opposition bloc I.N.D.I.A.
The special session will occur amidst significant developments, including India’s recent hosting of the G20 Summit in Delhi from September 8 to 10. Additionally, the session follows the government’s indication to the Supreme Court that elections in Jammu and Kashmir could take place, with the decision lying in the hands of central and state poll bodies. However, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta stated that there is no specific timeline for the restoration of statehood to J&K.
The previous session of Parliament, the Monsoon Session, took place from July 20 to August 12. During this session, 23 bills were passed by the government, and significant debates, including a ‘no confidence’ motion, occurred between the ruling party and the opposition. The session was marked by protests on various issues, including the violence in Manipur and the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2023.
With the special session approaching, political parties and the public eagerly await the declaration of the agenda and anticipate the discussions and debates that will unfold in Parliament.