New Delhi: Facing criticism from the Opposition over Lokpal crisis and Baba Ramdev's crackdown, the Central government on Tuesday decided to delay the monsoon session by two weeks. Now, the session will be convened from August 1 to September 8.

A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs (CCPA) headed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee.

Notably, the monsoon session is held in the second week of July but, in wake of the troubled scenario, the Union government decided to postpone the session by two weeks, sources said.

According to Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal, “The CCPA has decided to recommend to the President to call the session from August 1.”

Bansal, while replying to a question on the session delay said, “This is not the first time but there have been instances in the past also where the session has been held in August and this time it is expected to go up to September 8.”

However, observers believe that government wants to have a hold on the Lokpal issue before the commencement of the session. The government does not want a head-on situation over the recent Lokpal and Ramdev crisis but wish for a healthy discussion on it in Parliament, they added.

On the controversial Women's Reservation Bill, Bansal said, “Centre is serious on the issue as it took a little unpleasant dose to see that it gets passed in the Rajya Sabha”.

Meanwhile, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar has also convened an all-party meeting regarding the Women’s Reservation Bill on Wednesday.

Evidently, after being passed in the Upper House, the Bill faced severe opposition in the Lok Sabha from parties like SP, RJD and JD-U while seeking a quota within quota for women from backward classes.

JPN/Bureau