The Shiv Sena today came down heavily on the Narendra Modi government's decision to do away with the Winter Session of Parliament this year, ostensibly to duck the prevailing COVID-19 conditions. Calling the move a "sham", the Sena mouthpiece, Saamna, asked in its editorial why so many Union Ministers, including the Prime Minister himself, had openly campaigned during the recent election in Bihar and continue to do so in West Bengal.
The central government informed the Opposition on Tuesday about the Winter Session, saying the Budget Session will be convened in January 2021. The Shiv Sena, according to a PTI report, claimed that the Union government wants to evade discussion on issues such as the farmers' protest, India's economy, and the border standoff with China.
"What kind of democratic practice is this? The country will remain alive only if voices from the opposition are strong. The democratic traditions in Parliament inspire the country. Prime Minister Narendra Modi must follow these traditions," The Saamna editorial said.
"The US held polls and changed the guard in a democratic manner. This is the democracy of the super power; (while) we locked the supreme temple of democracy," the editorial said.
Referring to the Maharashtra BJP unit's criticism of the state government over holding a curtailed, two-day, winter session of the legislative assembly due to COVID-19, it said the BJP's views on democracy change "as per its convenience".
Saamna questioned Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prahlad Joshi's claim that the government had held discussions with the opposition before coming to such a decision.
It went on to ask why so many BJP leaders had gone out in the open to campaign during elections like the one in Bihar and the upcoming one in West Bengal.
"People in the BJP took to streets several times seeking reopening of temples (in Maharashtra), but for them to think about not opening the supreme temple of democracy must be said is a kind of pretension," it alleged.
Ultimately, it asked, "Rs 900 crore will be spent on constructing the new Sansad Bhavan, is it for locking from outside?"