The first day of an 'extraordinaire' parliament session, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, witnessed the opposition making noise over the cancellation of the question hour.
Repeated explanation by Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Pralhad Joshi saying consent was taken from various parties on the issue before making the decision went in vain. The Members of Parliament (MP) from Congress, All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) and All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) objected to the decision.
Asaduddin Owaisi, MP, AIMIM demanded division on the issue of scrapping of question hour, which was duly denied by the Lok Sabha speaker.
Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, too, tried to assuage the opposition by explaining how he, too, spoke with several leaders.
"These are not ordinary situations and the house will sit for four hours. We allowed a zero-hour where you can ask starred questions and reply will be given to you. You can ask the minister concerned if not satisfied with the reply," Singh said.
As the session began, the discussion on various issues under Zero hour started, leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Choudhary called the step of revocation of question hour as 'death of Parliamentary democracy'.
Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla started the session by listing out how the parliament has made arrangements to make the session safe for its members.
"Question hour is recognised as the essence of parliamentary democracy. It is a golden hour for us. If you can run the house why not incorporate question hour. This is the murder of democracy," said Chowdhury.
Owaisi demanded division on the issue of the scrapping of question hour to get the dissent recorded. "We want to record our dissent. You are destroying the democracy of the parliament by not allowing the question hour," Owaisi shouted amid the debate.
Similarly, Kalyan Banerjee from AITC asked the speaker not to take away the advantage of asking questions by not allowing question hour. (ANI)