A fresh parliamentary session commences this Monday, shrouded in anticipation of potential surprises from the government during the upcoming five-day assembly. This assembly will delve into Parliament’s illustrious 75-year history and address four crucial bills, including one concerning the appointment of election commissioners.
The unique aspect of this session lies in its dual venues, spanning both the old and new parliamentary buildings. In what appears to foreshadow a transition to the new complex, Vice President and Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar raised the national flag outside the innovative facility on Sunday morning. The unorthodox timing of this session has left many speculating, despite the primary agenda being a special discourse on Parliament’s 75-year journey, commencing with the “Samvidhan Sabha” (Constituent Assembly).
The government holds the privilege of introducing fresh legislation or unexpected items to Parliament, potentially straying from the outlined agenda. Congress leader Jairam Ramesh recently expressed the opposition’s unease about this session, hinting at the government harboring “legislative surprises.” Commenting on the official agenda, he dismissed it as “much ado about nothing,” suggesting that these matters could have waited until the November Winter Session.
Additionally, the government has included a bill concerning the appointment of the Chief Election Commissioner and other election commissioners for deliberation during this session. This bill, previously introduced in the Rajya Sabha during the last Monsoon session, faced opposition protests for seeking to align the service conditions of the chief election commissioner and two election commissioners with those of the cabinet secretary, diverging from the current norm of parity with a Supreme Court judge. This shift is perceived as a potential diminution of their status