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“Not Running Away”: Government Responds As Opposition Protests Question Hour Move

“You conduct the proceedings but single out Question Hour. You are trying to strangulate the democracy,” Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said. 

Applying unprecedented precautions against the coronavirus, including staggered sittings of both houses and social distancing between MPs, the 18-day monsoon session of parliament started today. In his traditional comments before the parliament session, PM Modi delivered a strong message on the China border stand-off. “We hope parliament and all members will unitedly send the message that the nation stands with our soldiers,” the Prime Minister said. In the morning, a resolution about canceling the question hour was passed.

“It’s an extraordinary situation. When assemblies aren’t ready to meet for a single day, we, with around 800-850 MPs, are meeting here. There are so many ways to question the government, the government isn’t running away from discussion,” Pralhad Joshi, Parliamentary Affairs Minister said in Lok Sabha.

Zero Hour can be used to question the government, defense minister Rajnath Singh suggested.

On Sunday, the government said that an all-party meeting was not held this time because of the coronavirus outbreak. With four-hour sittings every day, the parliament will function seven days a week.  The Rajya Sabha will function from 9 AM to 1 PM, the Lok Sabha for 3 PM to 7 PM.

The opposition is upset over the cancellation of question hour.

“Question Hour is the golden hour but you say that it can’t be held due to the circumstances. You conduct the proceedings but single out Question Hour. You are trying to strangulate the democracy,” Congress MP and leader of the party in parliament Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said today in Lok Sabha.

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