New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The day one of the Parliament Monsoon Session 2020 had a stormy session after the opposition attacked the government over several issues, including the move to scrap the Question Hour. The opposition even questioned the government over its handling of the coronavirus crisis and the intrusion of China’s People Liberation Army (PLA) in eastern Ladakh.

The government, however, defended itself from the opposition’s allegations and repeatedly said that Session was being held in an “extraordinary situation”. Leading the charge for the government was Defence Minister Rajnath Singh who appealed all the House members to co-operate and said that most of the opposition leaders have agreed over the Center’s Question Hour move.

“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 as Session is being held in an extraordinary situation,” Rajnath was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

BJP MP Pralhad Joshi also supported Rajnath and said that the government isn’t running away from discussions, claiming that there are “many more ways to question the government”.     

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“It's an extraordinary situation. When Assemblies aren't ready to meet for a single day, we -with around 800-850 MPs- are meeting here,” he said.

The opposition led by Congress, however, argued that the Question Hour cannot be scrapped due to ‘certain circumstances’ as it is the ‘golden hour’, alleging that the Modi “government is trying to strangulate the democracy”.

‘Lockdown prevented 37,000 deaths in India’

Giving the details of the ongoing coronavirus crisis, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said that the four-month-long lockdown prevented around 37,000 deaths in India. 

Claiming that the government ‘managed the situation well’, he said that the rate of infection has been low in India, noting that the country has a recovery rate of 77.99 per cent which is the highest in the world.

“With our endeavour to manage COVID-19, India has been able to limit its cases and deaths per million to 3,328 cases per million and 55 deaths per million populations respectively, which is one of the lowest in the world as compared to similarly affected countries,” he was quoted as saying by ANI.

‘No data available on migrant deaths during lockdown’

Speaking about migrants, the government informed that there is no data available on the number of migrant workers who had lost their lives during the lockdown. 

"India, as a nation, has responded through the central government, state governments, local bodies, self-help groups, resident welfare associations, medical health professionals, sanitation workers as well as large number of genuine and bonafide nongovernmental organisations in the nation's fight against the unprecedented human crisis due to the outbreak of Covid-19 and country-wide lockdown," the government said.

BJP MP asks govt to take strict action against drug traffickers

Meanwhile, BJP member Ravi Kishan on Monday raised in Lok Sabha the issue of drug menace in Bollywood and asked the government to take strict action against those involved in drug trafficking.

Raising the issue during Zero Hour, Kishan said drugs come to the country from China and Pakistan and there is a conspiracy by the neighbouring countries to destroy the youth.

"We know the problem of drug trafficking and drug addiction is increasing. In this conspiracy, our neighbouring countries are involved... Drugs come to this country via China and Pakistan. Our film industry too is affected," news agency PTI quoted him as saying.

The 18-day Parliament Monsoon Session began on Monday amid fears of coronavirus crisis. Due to the pandemic, this was the first time some Lok Sabha members attended the House proceedings on Monday while seated in the Rajya Sabha chamber.

While Lok Sabha is meeting between 9 am and 1 pm on Monday, Rajya Sabha will assemble between 3 pm and 7 pm. Tuesday onwards, Rajya Sabha will meet in the morning and Lok Sabha in the afternoon.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma