Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday said that the government would ensure a “normal Winter Session” of Parliament. However, it does not want Parliament dates to overlap with elections in Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat next month, he said.

“In a democracy, when elections are on, political parties are then addressing the people directly,” Jaitley said. “Elections and Parliament sessions do not overlap has been the past practice.”

He further said, “I don’t know about our opponents, but we have a lot of stake in this election.”

The Winter Session is likely to be held between December 15 and January 5, NDTV quoted unidentified government officials as saying. Reports earlier this month had said that the government may shorten or cancel the session, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other top ministers were busy campaigning for the Assembly elections.

The Winter Session is usually held from mid-November till the third week of December.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi had said the government’s “arrogance” had “cast a dark shadow on India’s Parliamentary democracy by sabotaging the Winter Session on flimsy grounds”.

The elections in Himachal Pradesh were held on November 9. Gujarat will go to the polls on December 9 and December 14. The results for both states will be declared on December 18.

Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Ananth Kumar had on Tuesday said that the Parliamentary affairs panel will meet “in the next couple of days” to decide the dates for the Winter Session.