The option of dropping the Question Hour for the coming parliament session was discussed earlier and no one but Trinamool Congress’s Derek O’ Brien objected, Union minister Pralhad Joshi has told NDTV. He, however added that TMC’s leader in the house, Sudip Bandopadhyay, has agreed to the move.
“It is not good that after agreeing, leaders start saying in public that they don’t agree,” the Parliamentary Affairs Minister told NDTV.
The plan to drop Question Hour in the short session that would begin on September 14 after a five-month gap, has triggered a row, with various leaders accusing the government of stifling the voice of the opposition.
Among the most vocal was Derek O’Brien, who accused the government of “murdering democracy” in the name of coronavirus.
“MPs required to submit questions for Question Hour in Parliament 15 days in advance. Session starts 14 September. So Question Hour cancelled ? Opposition MPs lose right to question govt. A first since 1950? Parliament overall working hours remain same so why cancel Question Hour? Pandemic excuse to murder democracy,” he tweeted.
Today, Mr Joshi said, “Rajnath Singh and I spoke to all the senior leaders. We spoke to all major and minor parties.”
“Except Derek O’Brien, no one objected. Everyone said there is a pandemic situation, so we agree. Sudip Bandhopadhyay agreed. He is leader of Trinamool Congress in Parliament,” Mr Joshi added.
The minister also said that other opposition leaders like Congress’s Ghulam Nabi Azad, Janata dal Secular chief HD Devegowda and Nationalist Congress Party’s Sharad Pawar have agreed.