Opposition wants 'short' winter session to be extended

Sushma Swaraj“There is unanimity among parties for extending the session after a one-week Christmas-break,” leader of the opposition Sushma Swaraj said. (PTI)

The short winter session of Parliament from December 5 to 20 may be extended into January following a unanimous demand from the opposition. The two houses normally sit for a month in winter.

"There is unanimity among parties for extending the session after a one-week Christmas-break," leader of the opposition Sushma Swaraj said after a meeting of floor leaders convened by Speaker Meira Kumar.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath said a decision will be taken after consulting Rajya Sabha members as well as MPs from the Northeast and the south.

He said meeting felt the session was "too short". The opposition argued the session had only 12 working days, of which three were Fridays meant for private members' business.

While the government has lined up 38 bills for passage, the highlight is likely to be the bill aimed at creating Telangana.

Finance Minister P Chidambaram is likely to meet Swaraj and her Rajya Sabha counterpart Arun Jaitley soon to discuss the Insurance Bill and Direct Tax Code. The BJP is opposed to the government's plan to increase the FDI cap in insurance from 26 to 49 per cent.

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