Parliament monsoon session: CPI leader calls no Question Hour move ‘unjust’ in letter to Rajya Sabha chairman
Parliament monsoon session begins from September 14. In a notification issued on Tuesday, the Rajya Sabha Secretariat said that there will be no question hour and private members’ business during the session due to Covid-19 pandemic.Updated: Sep 02, 2020, 13:45 IST
Ahead of the beginning of Parliament monsoon session, the Communist Party of India’s (CPI) Rajya Sabha member Binoy Viswam has written a letter to House chairman Venkaiah Naidu, over dropping of the Question Hour.
“Given that the duration of time of Parliamentary sittings is the same as it has always been, suspension of Question hour and Private Members business is unjust and must be reinstated immediately,” Viswam has said in his letter.
“Question Hour and Zero Hour are integral to the democratic functioning of Parliament and have never been done away with in the history of independent India. By introducing these changes, the government has effectively ensured that its accountability to Parliament and to the people is done away with,” he further said.
In a notification issued on Tuesday, the Rajya Sabha Secretariat said that there will be no question hour and private members’ business during the monsoon session of Parliament in the wake of ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Those who attend the session would be required to follow the necessary coronavirus protocols, including getting tested for Covid-19 within 72 hours, it further said.
The monsoon session of Parliament is scheduled to begin from September 14 and conclude on October 1.
On its part, the government has reached out to the Opposition, explaining its decision to not include the Question Hour in the list of business, people familiar with the development said.
Defence minister Rajnath Singh spoke on the government’s behalf to Opposition leaders, like Ghulam Nabi Azad and Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury of the Congress and Derek O’Brien of the Trinamool Congress.
Congress leader Chowdhury later said that Singh informed him about the modalities involved him in holding the session of Parliament at a time when the coronavirus pandemic has gripped the country. Ahead of the beginning of the session, both the House of Parliament have made elaborate security arrangements and put in place Covid-19 protocols, and that would require the presence of a large number of officials in Parliament to brief ministers, Singh said according to Chowdhury.
Singh assured him that the government will try to accommodate the Opposition’s demand for the Zero Hour to continue so that members can raise urgent matters .