Special Session of Parliament from Sept. 18 to 22; agenda under wraps

The session will have five sittings; Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi says amid Amrit Kaal, the government is looking forward to fruitful discussions and debate in Parliament; Congress says the government is trying to divert attention from the recent media reports on Adani Group

August 31, 2023 03:13 pm | Updated 11:46 pm IST - New Delhi

Centre has convened a special session of Parliament for five days.

Centre has convened a special session of Parliament for five days. | Photo Credit: X/@JoshiPralhad

The Union government on August 31 announced a Special Session of Parliament from September 18 to 22, shortly after the conclusion of the G-20 Summit in New Delhi on September 10.

In a post on the microblogging site X (formerly Twitter), Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said the Special Session would have five sittings, and amid Amrit Kaal (the Prime Minister’s description of the 25 years leading to 100 years of Independence), the government was looking forward to having fruitful discussions and debate in Parliament.

The Opposition said the sudden decision was meant to divert public attention from media reports exposing the Adani Group and the INDIA meeting.

The government has not revealed the agenda of the session, though sources said it could be related to the G-20 Summit and the events held to celebrate 75 years of Independence. Some say the session will be held in the new Parliament Building inaugurated in May. There is also the thinking that the government may bring in special Bills on long-pending issues such as women’s reservation in Parliament and the Assemblies.

Chandrayaan-3 and India’s goals for Amrit Kaal may be part of the wider discussions during the session, sources said.

A senior Congress leader said the government might do away with the Winter Session and explore early Lok Sabha elections along with the Assembly elections in five States. “The country is staring at a drought-like situation and food inflation has crossed 11%. The government would like to avoid going to elections when food inflation increases further,” he said.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said the move was a reflection of Centre’s panic. “Whenever you touch the Adani matter, the PM gets very uncomfortable and very nervous,” he said in Mumbai.

Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said the announcement was to manage the news cycle in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s style. In a post on X, he said the latest revelations on the Adani Group dominated the news on Thursday. On Friday, the INDIA parties were meeting in Mumbai. To counter this, the government had announced the Special Session, Mr. Ramesh said.

Also Read | Congress reiterates demand for JPC probe into Hindenburg-Adani issue

“Regardless, the JPC demand [the Opposition’s demand to constitute a Joint Parliamentary Committee to investigate the Adani Group] will continue to resonate inside and outside Parliament,” he said.

Manickam Tagore, Congress Working Committee member and MP, “thanked” the Centre for convening the session. “The Adani Mega Scam is the largest corruption scandal in Indian history. Who are Chang Chung-Ling and Nasser Ali Shabhan, who ended up controlling 13% of Adani shares through offshore operations from Mauritius? Question remains,” he said.

The Opposition leaders questioned the way the session was announced through a social media post without a proper notification. The Shiv Sena questioned the dates of the session as it clashed with Ganesh Chaturthi.

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