There will be no Question Hour, a curtailed Zero Hour and no private members’ bills during the upcoming monsoon session of Parliament, the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha secretariats have decided, prompting opposition leaders to accuse the government of trying to “murder the democracy” in the name of the COVID-19 pandemic and of reducing “Parliament to a notice board”.
In separate notifications, the two secretariats also said there will be no breaks as well during the session to be held from September 14 to October 1, and both Houses will function on Saturdays and Sundays as well.
In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the session will be held in two shifts — 9 AM to 1 PM and 3 PM to 7 PM.
Except for the first day, the Rajya Sabha will sit in the morning shift and the Lok Sabha will sit in the evening, according to the notifications.
“There will be no Question Hour during the Session. In view of the request of the government owing to the prevailing extraordinary situation due to COVID-19, the Speaker has directed that no day be fixed for the transaction of Private Members’ Business during the Session,” the Lok Sabha Secretariat said in a notification. A similar notification was issued by the Rajya Sabha Secretariat as well.