Monsoon Session : Opposition Slams Government Over No Question Hour Citing COVID-19

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Opposition parties have out at the government over the suspension of Question Hour in the upcoming Monsoon session of Parliament. Monsoon session of Parliament is scheduled to begin from September 14 and conclude on October 1.

According to notifications issued by Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha secretariats, there will be no Question Hour and private members’ bills will not be taken up in the Monsoon session, while the Zero Hour will be restricted.

Senior Congress Leader Shashi Tharoor sought justification of no Question Hour in the monsoon session.

“I said four months ago that strongmen leaders would use the excuse of the pandemic to stifle democracy and dissent. The notification for the delayed Parliament session blandly announces there will be no Question Hour. How can this be justified in the name of keeping us safe?” he asked on Twitter.

“Questioning the government is the oxygen of parliamentary democracy. This Govt seeks to reduce Parliament to a notice-board and uses its crushing majority as a rubber-stamp for whatever it wants to pass. The one mechanism to promote accountability has now been done away with,” Tharoor said in another tweet.

Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’Brien in atweet accused that the pandemic is an excuse to murder democracy.

“MPs required to submit questions for Question Hour in Parliament 15 days in advance. Session starts September 14. So Question Hour cancelled? Opposition MPs lose right to question government. A first since 1950? Parliament overall working hours remain same so why cancel Question Hour? Pandemic excuse to murder democracy,”

AR Chowdhury, Leader of Congress in LS : “Rajnath Singh asked me to agree on scrapping of question hour as parliament session is being convened in extraordinary situation. I told him that duration of question hour duration shouldn’t be cut. We demand reinstatement of question hour”

Rashtriya Janata Dal MP Manoj Jha said, “It is disappointing. No Question Hour in such a time when coronavirus has taken so many lives, infection is rising, management regarding it is below poor and also there is a situation at the border, is like a death of the soul of democracy. The Zero Hour is reduced to half an hour. Cannot stand by this decision.”

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