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Parliament row: BJP slams Opposition as Congress questions motive

Kharge alleged that the 'arrogance' of the Modi government has 'destroyed' the parliamentary system.
Last Updated : 25 May 2023, 08:42 IST

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The row over the inauguration of the new Parliament building intensified on Thursday as the BJP attacked the Opposition parties over their decision to boycott the inauguration ceremony and the Congress slammed the "arrogance" of the Modi government that "destroyed" the parliamentary system.

Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday justifed the move and said that the current Parliament structure was actually a “council hall” and for the first time, the country would have its own full-fledged Parliament building.

The senior BJP leader was speaking to reporters in Mumbai, a day after as many as 20 Opposition parties announced their decision to boycott the inauguration of the new Parliament building by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 28. The Opposition parties have accused the BJP-led Centre of denying President Droupadi Murmu, the first Adivasi woman President, her constitutional privilege to inaugurate the new Parliament building.

Fadnavis said, “One should not forget that the current Parliament building was actually a council hall. For the first time, India is going to have a full-fledged Parliament building.”

“When late prime ministers Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi inaugurated annexe buildings of the Parliament or took part in the ground-breaking ceremony for the Parliament’s library, was it against democratic norms,” Fadnavis asked.

Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath said, "...Instead of making this historic occasion a dignified and proud moment, the Opposition, including Congress, is making statements. This is unfortunate and irresponsible. This weakens democracy... I think the country will not accept this under any circumstance."

Meanwhile, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman appealed to the Opposition parties to re-think their decision. She said, "It (Parliament) is a temple of democracy, even the PM entered the Parliament by bowing on its steps. I humbly request and appeal (to the Opposition), kindly re-think, change your stand and participate in the ceremony."

The Congress on Thursday stepped up its attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the inauguration of the new Parliament building, saying "one man's ego and desire for self-promotion" has denied the first tribal woman president her constitutional privilege to inaugurate the complex.

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge alleged that the "arrogance" of the Modi government had "destroyed" the parliamentary system.

"Mr Modi, Parliament is the temple of democracy established by the people. The office of the President is the first part of Parliament. The arrogance of your government has destroyed the parliamentary system," Kharge said in a tweet in Hindi.

In a tweet, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said, "Yesterday, President Draupadi Murmu inaugurated the country's largest judicial campus at the Jharkhand High Court complex in Ranchi. It is one man's ego and desire for self-promotion that has denied the first Adivasi woman President her Constitutional privilege to inaugurate the new Parliament building in New Delhi on May 28th."

"Ashoka the Great, Akbar the Great, Modi the Inaugurate," Ramesh said.

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Published 25 May 2023, 08:17 IST

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