Winter session of parliament to begin from 15 Dec

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"The delay in announcing the dates for Parliament session triggered a war of words between the BJP and Congress. Gandhi said, "... in order to avoid the questions and answer ahead of Gujarat elections, the government has taken the extraordinary step of not holding a winter session when it should be held".

Sensing a stormy session, Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Ananth Kumar told reporters that the government would look forward for cooperation from all for the smooth functioning of both Houses.

"Even when general elections are held, you finish the budget session immediately in the first week of March so that by the time the campaign begins and the elections are notified, Parliament is not on".

"Certainly, the winter session will be held and it will be a regular session".

The Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs, headed by home minister Rajnath Singh, met on Friday to finalise the dates of the session.

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The opposition had earlier alleged that the government was delaying the session on objective to avoid a debate on "scams", including the Rafale deal, during the Gujarat polls.

When asked if MPs would be asked to be present on January 1, Mr Kumar said they should be present on all working days, including New Year's Day.

"The country expects that the bills pertaining to these two issues will come to Parliament in this session". The minister said there was a strong opinion among people that Parliament legislate on the issue. While the introduction of a bill to ban triple talaq is high on its priority list, it is also keen to push the Labour Code, the Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance Bill and several other pending legislations.

He had added that if the session spilled over to January it would not be considered as afresh session.

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