After notification by the Rajya Sabha Secretariat said there will be no Question Hour during the Parliament’s Monsoon Session, opposition parties and citizens, in general, have criticised the move and accused the government of using the ‘pandemic as an excuse for murdering democracy’.Also Read - No Question Hour in Parliament's Monsoon Session Due to Covid-19, Opposition Says 'Pandemic Excuse to Murder Democracy'
Many on social media have slammed the government saying that it is a blatant undemocratic move and an excuse to evade uncomfortable questions regarding the handling of Covid-19, PM CARES Fund, falling GDP, crashing economy and loss of jobs.
Others who have been demanding postponement of NEET, JEE exams called it an act of hypocrisy and asked if students across the country are expected to take exams during a pandemic, then why is the govt not willing to have the ‘Question hour’.
One user said, ”This is shocking! Afraid of being questioned over its handling of the pandemic, the Modi govt is cancelling question hour from the Parliament session. A brazen move towards dictatorship. They must NOT be allowed to do this!”
Here are other reactions:
Calling it a ‘brazen move by Modi government’, activist Saket Gokhale has started a petition on Change.org to put forth his demand to restore the question hour.
The petition reads, ”A very crucial part of any Parliament Session is the Question Hour. This allows the member of Parliament to ask questions from the government related to issues that matter to the people. However, in the upcoming Parliament session, the Modi govt has decided to cancel Question Hour.
In this session, issues such as handling of Covid-19 and the lockdown, PM CARES Fund and its transparency, falling GDP, crashing economy, loss of jobs, and others are extremely important.
To ensure that the government remains accountable to the people, it MUST answer questions on these issues. Cancelling question hour is a blatant undemocratic move for the govt. to evade these uncomfortable questions.”
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.
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.