Parliament Winter session to begin Dec 11, triple talaq atop government agenda

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New Delhi : The winter session of Parliament will begin on December 11, after conclusion of voting in the Assembly elections in five states on December 8, and conclude on January 8 next year.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs, chaired by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, on Tuesday night.

"The CCPA has decided that the winter session of Parliament will begin on December 11 and continue till January 8. There will be 20 sittings," Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Vijay Goel said.

The session will begin on the day election results for Assembly polls to five states Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Telangana and Mizoram will be out. But both the houses may be adjourned for the day after offering condolences to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who died during the intersession period.

Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2018, commonly known as triple talaq bill, will be high on government's agenda as it will try to get the Parliament's nod before the 2019 Lok Sabha Polls.

As the government could not pass the bill in Rajya Sabha in the last monsoon session, the government had issued an ordinance on September 19 in making triple talaq a criminal offence.

"There will be three important bills in the winter session -- triple talaq bill, a legislation related to Indian Medical Council and Companies amendment bill," Goel said adding that there will be eight bills in Rajya Sabha while 15 in Lok Sabha for passage and discussion.

He expected that the opposition parties would cooperate with the government in passing the bills and vowed that the government is ready to discuss every issue raised by them.

The session is likely to be stormy as the opposition would push for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the deal for procuring 36 Rafale jets from French company Dassault, and the government is not willing to part with the price of each jet.

Also, BJP MP Rakesh Sinha has already declared that he would bring a private member bill for building Ram temple in Ayodhya.

The session would also be significant as the opposition's chemistry would be a portent of the things to come in the battleground 2019 where non-NDA parties are trying to forge a united front against the BJP.

The monsoon session of Parliament was productive for the government with 21 bills passed by Lok Sabha and 14 by the Rajya Sabha even as it witnessed clashes between the Opposition and the treasury benches on a range of issues including NRC and the Rafale fighter jet deal.