Criticising the Centre's decision not to hold the winter session of Parliament, the Shiv Sena on Thursday claimed the Union government wants to evade discussion on issues like the ongoing farmers' protest, country's economic situation and border standoff with China.
An editorial in Sena mouthpiece Saamana said the session has been cancelled so that the Opposition does not get an opportunity to ask questions on these issues.
"What democratic practice is this? The country will remain alive only if voices from the opposition benches are strong in a democracy. The democratic traditions in Parliament inspire the country. Prime Minister Narendra Modi must follow these traditions," it said.
The central government recently conveyed to the Opposition that the winter session of Parliament will not be held this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the budget session will be convened in January 2021.
"The Covid-19 did not stop election of a big democratic country in the world. But we are not allowing (even) four-day winter session of Parliament.
"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 Legislature due to Covid-19, it said the BJP's views on democracy change "as per its convenience".
The Marathi publication said Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi had talked about having spoken to all parties on not holding the winter session.
When and where the discussion was held? it asked.
"Prime Minister Modi and his colleagues inspire people to fight Covid-19, but are leaving the ground when it comes to themselves?," it alleged.
Citing Covid-19 to cancel Parliament session is a "sham" as Modi himself addressed campaign rallies during the recent Bihar Assembly polls, the editorial said.
It also referred to BJP president J P Nadda's visits to West Bengal, which goes to polls next year.
"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," the Shiv Sena alleged.
All other people are going to work, but those running the country have "locked" Parliament fearing Covid-19, it said.
"Why this rule is limited only to Parliament session? (We) should get answer about whether jawans deployed on border, too, should return home due to Covid-19," it said.
The editorial asked why a new Parliament building is being constructed if the Lok Sabha is to be "locked" due to Covid-19.
"Rs 900 crore will be spent on constructing the new Sansad Bhavan, is it for locking from outside?" it asked.