New Delhi: There will be no winter session of Parliament this time because of the coronavirus outbreak, the government has officially said, ending speculation.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi in his reply to Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury has said that all political parties favour scrapping the session to avoid any Covid spread and jumping straight to the Budget session in January. But the Congress says it has not been consulted.

Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury had earlier sent a letter to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla demanding that a short Winter Session of Parliament be convened to discuss the issues arising out of farmers' protest over the three farm bills passed during the Monsoon Session in September.

The government has said the floor leaders of the party whom it consulted favoured skipping the Winter Session due to Covid-19 pandemic situation. Joshi said the government is willing to have Budget Session at the "earliest".

The Budget session had begun on January 31 last year, and on January 28 in 2018.

"Winter months are very crucial for managing the pandemic because of recent spurt in cases during this period, particularly in Delhi," Joshi wrote to the Congress MP.

"At present, we are in the middle of December and a Covid vaccine is expected very soon. In this regard, I have informally contacted floor leaders of various political parties and they have expressed their concerns about the ongoing pandemic and opined of doing away with Winter Session. The government is willing to have the next session of Parliament at the earliest. It would be appropriate to have the Budget Session, 2021 in January, keeping in mind the unprecedented circumstances created by Covid-19 pandemic (sic)," the letter said, urging Chaudhary, as a "sincere parliamentarian", to cooperate.

The Monsoon Session of Parliament was delayed due to coronavirus and held in September instead of July. It was cut short by 10 days due to the Covid-19 situation. Earlier, the Budget Session of Parliament had to be cut short due to Covid-19 outbreak in the country.