Lok Sabha adopts motion to do away with question hour, private members' business
Monday, 14 September 2020 () Lok Sabha on Monday adopted a motion to do away with Question Hour and private members' business during the Monsoon session, which is being held amid the coronavirus pandemic. Criticising the move, the opposition led by the Congress said that Question Hour is the "golden hour of the House".
While addressing in the Lok Sabha during 1st day of monsoon session, Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said, "Leaders of most parties agreed over no Question Hour and Zero Hour for 30 minutes. We apprised you (Speaker) of it following which decision was taken by you. I appeal to all members of...
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), General Secretary, Bikram Singh Majithia participated in the nation-wide 'Bharat Bandh' protest in Amritsar against new farm bills. "If there is any misunderstanding between farmers towards the new farm bills, it is duty of government to address the farmers, we had expectation that the matter will be discussed via select committee and farmers' voice will be heard," said Majithia. On September 17, SAD leader and Lok Sabha MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal resigned from the Union Cabinet, displaying her party's opposition to the bills.
A massive showdown was witnessed in the Lok Sabha on the first day of the monsoon session over the government’s decision to scrap the question hour in view of the coronavirus crisis. The opposition cornered the government and said that the move is ant-democratic. Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said that the government is trying to stifle the voice of the opposition and strangulate democracy. AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi urged the executive not to encroach into the territory of the legislature. Defending the government’s move, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said that in the last five years, 60% of the session in Lok Sabha and 30% in Rajya Sabha have been wasted over Question Hour. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh also defended the government’s move and said that talks had been held with leaders of all parties on the matter. He further added that a 30 minute long zero hour would be held where the opposition could put their questions to the government. Watch the full video for all the details.
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As the Parliament's monsoon session approaches, the Opposition is objecting to the cancellation of Question Hour for this sitting. Question Hour is when Members of Parliament get an opportunity to grill ministers on various governmental activities, policies, and decisions. The Opposition is calling this a bid to prevent accountability amid a pandemic and economic crisis. All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen party's Asaduddin Owaisi said that this was also a violation of the principle of separation of powers. He has written to the Speaker of the Lok Sabha, Om Birla, that he has the power to restore the conduct of the Question Hour. However, the government has countered all criticism, claiming that almost all leaders of Opposition parties had agreed to cancellation of Question Hour during discussions. Parliament will hold the monsoon session from September 14 to October 1 with various new rules like shorter hours and sittings in shifts to ensure social distancing. Watch the full video for more.
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All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) president Asaduddin Owaisi on September 02 said that not having Question Hour in the forthcoming Parliament session goes against the theory of separation of power which is part of the basic structure of our Constitution. "I have written a letter to the Speaker of Lok Sabha Om Birla ji that not having Question Hour in forthcoming Parliament session goes against the theory of separation of power which is part of the basic structure of our Constitution," said Owaisi.
The monsoon session of the Parliament, held under the shadow of the Covid-19 pandemic, is ending earlier than planned amid a surge in infections. But rather than the unprecedented precautions and measures taken inside the two Houses, this session might be remembered for the fierce face-off between the treasury and Opposition benches, especially over the manner of passing of two controversial agricultural reform bills. The political clash caused by the fracas in the Rajya Sabha, the suspension of some Opposition MPs, the rejected motion against the Deputy Chairman, and the boycott of proceedings is now reaching the President of India's doorstep. Opposition parties are approaching the President, accusing the government of trampling on Parliamentary tradition while pushing through a number of legislations. Watch Hindustan Times senior editor Aditi Prasad decode the significance of this short, yet stormy Parliament session with deputy political editor Saubhadra Chatterji.
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On 3rd day of Monsoon session of Parliament, Congress MP Anand Sharma in Rajya Sabha sought for "scientific data" of Union Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan's claim that 'lockdown prevented approximately 14 lakh to 29 lakh cases and 37,000 to 78,000 deaths amid COVID-19 pandemic'. In the session, Sharma said, "Yesterday, the Health Minister said that this decision (lockdown) prevented approximately 14 to 29 lakh COVID-19 cases and 37,000-78,000 deaths. The house must be informed what is the scientific basis on which we have reached this conclusion?"
Congress leader, Akhilesh Singh commented on seat sharing in grand alliance ahead of Assembly elections in Bihar. "Things are not okay on that side (NDA) also, considering Chirag Paswan's statement. These things will continue as there is certain amount of bitterness during seat sharing. All parties in 'Mahagathbandhan' will get due share of seats, said Akhilesh Singh. He made this statement while replying on Upendra Kushwaha's statement on the seat sharing. The Chief of Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP) and former Union Minister, Upendra Kushwaha has said that the RLSP will remain in the grand alliance only if there is a change in the leadership of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD).The Election Commission had announced dates for Bihar Assembly elections. The elections in the state will be held in 3 phases on October 28, November 3 and 7 and counting of votes will take place on November 10.