New Parliament building: As the slugfest over inauguration of the new Parliament building on May 28 continues, a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed in the Supreme Court on Thursday. It sought a direction from the apex court that the new Parliament building be inaugurated by the President of India. According to information, the petitioner said that the Lok Sabha Secretariat violated the Constitution by not inviting the President to the inauguration.
Meanwhile, 19 opposition parties, including the Congress, have decided to boycott the inauguration by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 28.
Shiv Sena (UBT) joins boycott
Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut said on Wednesday that his party will join the opposition in boycotting the inauguration of the new Parliament building.
President Droupadi Murmu is the head of Parliament and the Narendra Modi government was ignoring her by not inviting her to the function on May 28, he said.
“All opposition leaders are boycotting the event as the government has not invited the president, an adivasi woman,” Raut said. He stressed that both the Prime Minister and the President can remain present for the event, he said.
The Sena (UBT) leader also reiterated his stand that there was no need for a new Parliament building in the first place, as the existing one could have lasted for another 100 years.
Meanwhile, YSRCP president and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy confirmed that his party will participate in the inauguration. The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) is yet to take a decision on the issue.
Odisha’s ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) also said it will take part in the inauguration of the new Parliament building.
The 19 opposition parties that are boycotting the event include the Congress, Left, TMC, SP, and AAP among others.They said that they find no value in a new building when the soul of democracy has been sucked out.
Opposition issues joint statement
In a joint statement, the 19 parties said, “Prime Minister Modi’s decision to inaugurate the new Parliament building by himself, completely sidelining President Murmu, is not only a grave insult but a direct assault on our democracy which demands a commensurate response.
“We announce our collective decision to boycott the inauguration of the new Parliament building,” the parties said.
“We will continue to fight – in letter, in spirit, and in substance – against this ‘authoritarian’ prime minister and his government, and take our message directly to the people of India,” the opposition parties added.
‘Parties will respond as per their wisdom’
Asked about the opposition decision, Home Minister Amit Shah said that the government has extended the invitation to all political parties and they will respond as per their wisdom. He also said the event in which ‘Sengol’, a historical sceptre from Tamil Nadu, which was received by the first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to represent the transfer of power from the British and will be installed in the new Parliament building, should not be linked with politics.
“The government of India has invited everyone to be present at the inauguration. Everyone will act as per their wisdom,” he said at a press conference when asked about the boycott call.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi termed the opposition parties’ move as unfortunate and urged them to reconsider their stand. “Boycotting and making an issue out of a non-issue is most unfortunate. I appeal to them to reconsider their decision and join the function, Joshi said,” he said.
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