Union Minister Pralhad Joshi (Left), Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury (Right)
Union Minister Pralhad Joshi (Left), Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury (Right)

Cong says not holding question hour is strangulating democracy; Pralhad Joshi says govt not running away from discussion

ANI | Updated: Sep 14, 2020 14:03 IST

New Delhi [India], September 14 (ANI): Leader of Congress in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Monday accused the Centre of attempting to strangulate the democracy by not holding question hour during the ongoing monsoon session of Parliament.
Speaking on the first day of the session, Chowdhury said that the arguments being put forth by the Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Pralhad Joshi for not having the question hour were unconvincing.
"The argument and the rationale that have been dished out by the Parliamentary Affairs Minister in regard to the revocation of the question hour is far from convincing. Question hour is the essence of parliamentary democracy, not only that it could be interpreted as the soul of the House," Chowdhury said.
The Congress leader said that it is a "golden hour" in which the executive is answerable.
"Question hour is the golden hour but you say that it cannot be held due to the circumstances. You conduct the proceedings but single out question hour. You are trying to strangulate the democracy," he added.

Replying to Chowdhury, and the criticism raised by other Opposition leaders, Pralhad Joshi said, "It is an extraordinary situation. When Assemblies are not ready to meet for a single day, we -with around 800-850 MPs- are meeting here. There are so many ways to question the government. Government isn't running away from a discussion. We are ready for discussion."
The Minister also assured the Opposition that every query raised by them during the session will be replied to.
Joshi was supported by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh who 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 House to co-operate."
The Monsoon session 2020 of Parliament commenced today.
This will be the first Parliament session being held amid the COVID-19 pandemic. All safety measures have been initiated to conduct the session as per health guidelines amid COVID-19. (ANI)