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No 'Question Hour' in upcoming Monsoon Session of Parliament; Opposition slams govt move

The Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha secretariats issued a notification that said, there will be " no Question Hour and private members' business" during the Monsoon Session due to the COVID-19 pandemic

twitter-logoBusinessToday.In | September 2, 2020 | Updated 14:15 IST
No 'Question Hour' in upcoming Monsoon Session of Parliament; Opposition slams govt move
The Monsoon Session of Parliament is scheduled to begin from September 14 and conclude on October 1

The Opposition parties slammed the Centre on Wednesday for cancelling the Question Hour session in the upcoming Monsoon Session of the Parliament.

The Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha secretariats issued a notification that said, there will be " no Question Hour and private members' business" during the Monsoon Session due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Question Hour, the first hour in the House, allows MPs to ask the government questions. Moreover, the Zero Hour, slotted for members to raise matters of public importance, has been cut short to 30 minutes.

The Monsoon Session of Parliament is scheduled to begin from September 14 and conclude on October 1.

There will also be no breaks during the session, and both Houses will function on Saturdays and Sundays as well. The session will be held in two shifts -- 9 am to 1 pm and 3 pm to 7 pm. Except for the first day, the Rajya Sabha will sit in the morning shift and the Lok Sabha will sit in the evening, according to the notifications.

Following the notice, Rajya Sabha member Derek O'Brien of Trinamool Congress said, "Pandemic an excuse to murder democracy".

In a tweet, he said, "MPs required to submit questions for Question Hour in Parliament 15 days in advance. The session starts on 14 September. So Question Hour cancelled? Opposition MPs lose the right to question govt. A first since 1950? Parliament's overall working hours remain the same so why cancel Question Hour? Pandemic excuse to murder democracy."


Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said that "Questioning the government is the oxygen of parliamentary democracy". He accused the government of seeking to "reduce Parliament to a notice-board and using its majority as a rubber stamp".

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