Shiv Sena supports govt on no Question Hour during monsoon session

The Shiv Sena on Thursday came out

in support of the Centre's move to drop Question Hour from the upcoming monsoon session of Parliament, and said the decision was taken due to an "emergency situation" caused by the pandemic, which everyone needs to understand.

Talking to reporters, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said that other platforms to question the government are always available.

According to the notifications issued by the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha secretariats, there will be no Question Hour and private members' bills will not be taken up in the monsoon session, while the Zero Hour will be restricted.

"Even though the monsoon session of Parliament will not have a Question Hour, it is important to understand why it is so," Raut said.

"This is an emergency situation. We need to understand and not criticise," he said, adding that even in Maharashtra the monsoon session of the state assembly will be held for two days only.

Several opposition parties have criticised the move to exclude Question hour during the monsoon session, with some leaders accusing the Modi government of trying to "murder the democracy" in the name of the COVID-19 pandemic and of reducing "Parliament to a notice board".

Replying to a question, Raut said that Army chief M M Naravane rushing off to Ladakh shows that the China-India stand-off was serious.

"Even External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had tweeted the situation was worse than 1962," he said.

The Army chief began his two-day visit to Ladakh on Thursday to carry out a comprehensive review of the security situation in the region in view of China's fresh attempts to change status quo along the southern bank of Pangong lake.

Raut criticised the opposition's demand to reopen places of worship in Maharashtra amid the pandemic and made it clear that the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government will take appropriate decision at the right time.

"The opposition leaders should not play with peoples' lives. The state government is of the view that this is not the right time to reopen places of worship. The opposition leaders should understand the thought behind the decision and support the government," the Sena MP said.

"Yesterday, the coronavirus numbers in Maharashtra were more than 15,000. The opposition should have patience and think about people's health and well-being first," he added.

"Unlike the Centre, the MVA government doesn't think that COVID-19 is act of God. The state government believes it will have to fight the pandemic on its own," Raut said.

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had recently said that the economy has been hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, which is an 'act of God'.

Raut lambasted Aurangabad MP Imtiaz Jaleel for public agitations seeking reopening of the places of worship.

"His (Jaleel's) Lok Sabha win was an accident due to a three-cornered fight. Next time, such an accident will not happen," he said.

"Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray is not happy about the closure of temples and other places of worship. But for the government, people's health is the priority," Raut added.

When asked about the criticism of the state government effecting transfers amid the pandemic, Raut asked, "Is there a rule that a new government shouldn't effect bureaucratic transfers?"

On the criticism that Uddhav Thackeray was operating from home during the pandemic, he said, "Narendra Modi and Thackeray function in a similar manner. Even Modi is working from Delhi. Why should the chief minister break the safety protocol? When a chief minister travels, there is crowd."

"From where he should work is entirely his call," Raut added.

"State BJP leaders should dare to ask Modi to move out of Delhi and travel in the country," he said.


(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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