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Will the Parliament Monsoon session reconvened? Govt to take a call today

New Delhi :Government is likely to take a view today on reconvening Parliament’s Monsoon session, which was adjourned sine die on August 13 but not prorogued, to push through key reform measures like GST.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu is expected to throw some light on the government’s plans on the issue when he addresses a press conference today.

The stormy Monsoon session of Parliament was a virtual washout, delaying legislations, including the crucial GST bill, which could not be passed because of continuous acrimony and disruptions.

During the entire four weeks of the session which began on July 21, the Lalit Modi controversy and Vyapam scam of Madhya Pradesh dominated, resulting in paralysis of both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.

Keen to ensure the passage of GST bill, government had kept open the option of reconvening the session with the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs deciding not to recommend immediate prorogation of the Houses after they were adjourned sine die.

Sources said the decision to reconvene Monsoon session will depend on whether there is some significant headway with other parties on the contentious GST bill.

If the government manages to rope in some regional parties and chooses to press for the GST bill, then it may call for reconvening the Monsoon session for few days.

The non-prorogation of the Houses and adjourning them sine die will enable it to reconvene the house at a short notice, they added.

Under Article 85(2) of the Constitution, the President is vested with the power to prorogue (end a session) both Houses of Parliament. If Houses are not prorogued and are only left at being adjourned sine die by Chair in Parliament, the same session continues and can be reconvened at any time.

Government has to also take a call on the land ordinance, which was issued for the third time last month and will expire on August 31. The bill to replace it is still before the Joint Committee of Parliament headed by BJP MP S S Ahluwalia, which is examining the contentious measure, and it has decided to bring it only in Winter session.

If the government wants to re-issue the ordinance for a record fourth time to “maintain continuity”, it can recommend proroguing only one of the Houses to keep the ordinance alive as was done after the Budget Session earlier, they said.

While an ordinance has a life of six months, it has to be approved by Parliament within six weeks of the commencement of the session which follows its promulgation. An ordinance cannot be re-promulgated while the House is in session.