India

‘Pandemic excuse to murder democracy’: Opposition MPs express resentment over cancelling Question Hour

The Rajya Sabha’s recent decision to cancel the Question Hour in the Monsoon session of the Indian Parliament has been received with a lot of resentments from the opposition Members of the Parliament.

The session that is to commence from 14th September, will not have the Question Hour session “in the wake of the ongoing pandemic,” a notification issued by Rajya Sabha Secretariat read.

The Question Hour, the first hour in the House, allows members to ask the government questions.

Taking to twitter, the Rajya Sabha member Derek O’Brien of Trinamool Congress said the pandemic was being used as an excuse to “murder democracy”

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

The Congress MP Shashi Tharoor took to facebook and said questioning the government is the oxygen of parliamentary democracy. “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,” Mr Tharoor said.

I said four months ago that strongmen leaders would use the excuse of the pandemic to stifle democracy and dissent. The…

Posted by Shashi Tharoor on Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Opposition leaders say they were told by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh that if there was a Question Hour, ministers would need to be briefed by officials of their ministries and this would raise the number of visitors to parliament in Covid times, the NDTV reported.

 

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