Due to the coronavirus pandemic, there will be no question hour and private members’ business during the monsoon session, according to a notification issued by the Rajya Sabha Secretariat. However, zero hour and other proceedings will be held as per schedule. Also Read - With COVID Guidelines in Place, Parliament’s Monsoon Session Likely From Sept 14
Notably, the Monsoon session of Parliament is scheduled to begin from September 14 and conclude on October 1.
Those who attend the session would be required to follow the necessary coronavirus protocols, including getting tested for COVID-19 within 72 hours.
Top Government sources confirmed to ANI that the monsoon session of Parliament is to be held on a daily basis with no break even on the weekends. Proceedings of both houses will be held on a daily basis.
On day one (September 14), Lok Sabha will be held from 9 am to 1 pm while Rajya Sabha proceedings will be held from 3 pm to 7 pm. After September 14, Rajya Sabha will sit in the first half from 9 am to 1 pm and Lok Sabha’s processing is scheduled from 3 pm to 7 pm.
Both the houses of the Parliament is to sit for four hours daily and every precautionary measure would be taken by the government in view of the pandemic.
Opposition sees red
Miffed over having no question hour, Rajya Sabha member, Derek O’ Brien of the Trinamool Congress questioned this move and said that the pandemic was being used to murder democracy.
In a tweet, he wrote, ”MPs required to submit Qs for Question Hour in #Parliament 15 days in advance. Session starts 14 Sept. So Q Hour cancelled ? Oppn MPs lose right to Q govt. A first since 1950 ? Parliament overall working hours remain same so why cancel Q Hour?Pandemic excuse to murder democracy.”
Later in the day, senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor too lashed out and accused the government of seeking to “reduce Parliament to a notice-board and using its majority as a rubber stamp.”
Shashi Tharoor added, “Questioning the government is the oxygen of parliamentary democracy. This Govt seeks to reduce Parliament to a notice-board & 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.”
(With ANI inputs)