The current session of the Lok Sabha has barely functioned thanks to the Opposition firmly opposing the government’s decision to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes. However, there was one thing, MPs cutting across party lines could agree on without any need for debate: giving themselves a four-day-long weekend.
Opposition members had begun demanding a holiday on 12 December from Wednesday.
Sudip Bandopadhyay (TMC) had raised the issue pointing out that 13 December has been officially declared a holiday for Milad-un Nabi, the Prophet’s birthday. Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge also supported this.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said the matter can be discussed at the Business Advisory Committee (BAC) meeting.
He also used the occasion to urge the opposition members, who were protesting in the Well demanding a debate on demonetisation under a rule entailing voting, to start a debate on Wednesday, pointing out that the Session will end on 16 December.
Leaders of all major parties, who attended the BAC meeting held in Speaker Sumitra Mahajan’s chamber, raised the issue of declaring a holiday on Monday as in some southern states the Prophet’s birthday was being observed on Monday.
So on Thursday it was no surprise when the Speaker announced that Monday would be a holiday, meaning a four-day-long break for Lok Sabha: