Government agreed to allow tabling of 'Unstarred Questions' in the coming Monsoon Session scheduled to start on September 14. ( A view of Parliament. Courtesy: Business Standard)

Government concedes opposition’s demand on Question Hour

Succumbing to mounting pressure over Question Hour from the opposition, especially the Congress and Trinamool Congress the Narendra Modi government late on Wednesday agreed to allow tabling of ‘Unstarred Questions’ in the coming Monsoon Session scheduled to start on September 14. Earlier, citing unusual situation following Corona Virus the government had decided to scrap Question Hour in the Monsoon Session of Parliament.

According to parliamentary affairs minister Pralhad Joshi government had requested Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla and and Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu to allow MPs to table their Unstarred Questions.

He also said  that he had requested the heads of the two Houses to keep the duration of Zero Hour to 30 minutes. MPs can raise any current issue related to any ministry for discussion during the Zero Hour. But the concerned minister is not bound to respond immediately.

Zero Hour are often stormy both in Parliament and state Assemblies.

Earlier on Wednesday, in a virtual press conference, the Leader of Trinamool Congress in Rajya Sabha Derek O’Brien said that the government is deliberately scrapping Question Hour as it wants to avoid giving answers on pressing issues like the high unemployment rate and the state of the economy, among others.

Meanwhile, Nationalist Congress Party also made similar allegations of the BJP avoiding questions to ‘hide its failures’. “The BJP is using the coronavirus pandemic as an excuse to cancel the Question Hour in the monsoon session of Parliament to hide its failures on multiple fronts,” NCP spokesperson Mahesh Tapase alleged, according to a PTI report.

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