NEW DELHI: The Trinamool Congress hit out at the government on Wednesday over the suspension of Question Hour in the upcoming Monsoon session of Parliament, alleging that it was to deny opposition members an opportunity to ask questions on the economy and the coronavirus pandemic.
Monsoon session of Parliament is scheduled to begin from September 14 and conclude on October 1.
According to notifications issued by Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha secretariats, there will be no Question Hour and private members' bills will not be taken up in the Monsoon session, while the Zero Hour will be restricted.
"MPs required to submit questions for Question Hour in Parliament 15 days in advance. Session starts September 14. So Question Hour cancelled? Opposition MPs lose right to question government. A first since 1950? Parliament overall working hours remain same so why cancel Question Hour? Pandemic excuse to murder democracy," tweeted TMC MP Derek O'Brien.
He also pointed out that question hours are significant because issues raised during this time is answered by the minister concerned which is not the case in Zero Hour.
O'Brien also said that during the question hour, questions are asked also from the Treasury Benches and by the move to suspend it, the government was also "denying their own MPs to raise their queries".
"This means that we cannot ask any questions on the state of the economy or the pandemic," he said.
"During the 33rd (1961), 93rd (1975), 98th (1976) 99th (1977) sessions there was no Question Hour as these sessions were summoned for SPECIAL PURPOSES: Orissa, Proclamation of Emergency, 44th Amdmt, President's Rule TN/Nagaland. The upcoming Monsoon Session is a REGULAR SESSION (sic)," the TMC said in another tweet.