Govt seeks to cut back Parliament to ‘notice board’: Tharoor on ‘no Question Hour’

New Delhi, September 2

Criticising the choice of not having the Question Hour in Parliament’s monsoon session, senior Congress chief Shashi Tharoor on Wednesday mentioned questioning the federal government is the “oxygen” of parliamentary democracy and alleged that the Modi dispensation seeks to cut back Parliament to a “notice board”.

There can be no Question Hour and personal members’ Bills is not going to be taken up within the upcoming monsoon session of Parliament, whereas the Zero Hour can be restricted, notifications issued by Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha secretariats mentioned.

Reacting to the event, Tharoor mentioned, “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?” the previous Union minister mentioned.

Questioning the federal government is the oxygen of parliamentary democracy, he asserted.

“This government seeks to reduce Parliament to a notice-board and uses its crushing majority as a rubber-stamp for whatever it wants to pass,” Tharoor alleged.

The one mechanism to advertise accountability has now been finished away with, he rued.

Tagging Tharoor’s tweet, one other senior Congress chief Mukul Wasnik mentioned on Twitter, “You may have misunderstood the government. This is not about your safety. It is about the government’s safety.”               

There may also be no breaks throughout the session, which can be held from September 14 to October 1, and each Houses will perform on Saturdays and Sundays as effectively, the notifications mentioned.

In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the session can be held in two shifts — 9 am to 1 pm and three pm to 7 pm.

Last week, Congress chief in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury wrote to Speaker Om Birla urging him to not curtail the Question Hour and the Zero Hour.

Chowdhury had mentioned it’ll stop lawmakers from elevating problems with nationwide significance.

Meanwhile, in keeping with sources, the federal government has reached out to the Opposition, sharing its compulsions to not maintain the Question Hour in wake of the pandemic. PTI

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