Government scraps Question Hour, Opposition slams move
Lok Sabha on Monday decided to do away with Question Hour and private members' business during the Monsoon session, inviting strong criticism from opposition members who accused the government of stifling democracy
New Delhi : Lok Sabha on Monday decided to do away with Question Hour and private members' business during the Monsoon session, inviting strong criticism from opposition members who accused the government of stifling democracy.
The lower house adopted the motion to suspend Question Hour, with the government maintaining that it is not running away from discussion and will reply to all questions raised by the opposition.
Slamming the move, the opposition led by the Congress said that Question Hour is the "golden hour of the House". Leader of the Congress in Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, said the argument and rationale that has been put forth by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi is far from convincing. He said the Question Hour is recognised as an essence of parliamentary democracy and executives are accountable and answerable during the Question Hour.
In such an extraordinary situation, if the House is running, "why Question Hour is singled out," Ranjan Chowdhury asked. "We get chance to raise issues of common people.
Question Hour is simply a golden hour of the House," he said, adding by doing way with this, the government is trying to "throttle democracy".
Pralhad Joshi said before arriving at this decision, deputy leader in the Lok Sabha, and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh spoke to almost all leaders of various parties.
"I would like to tell various leaders who questioned the suspension of Question Hour that all state assemblies including Punjab, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala have run sessions for a day or two and passed several bills, whereas the government of India decided to run for 18 days and hold discussion on bills," Joshi said.