Congress to boycott Constitution Day celebrations

Instead, lawmakers of the Congress, TMC, Left parties and the DMK will stage protests near the statue of B R Ambedkar in the Parliament premises against the “murder of democracy” in Maharashtra.

The Congress and some like-minded Opposition parties have decided to boycott the Constitution Day celebrations in the Central Hall of Parliament on Tuesday which would be addressed by President Ram Nath Kovind.

Instead, lawmakers of the Congress, TMC, Left parties and the DMK will stage protests near the statue of B R Ambedkar in the Parliament premises against the “murder of democracy” in Maharashtra.

“Opposition members will protest near the Ambedkar statue at the same time the President addresses a joint sitting of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha on Tuesday,” a senior Congress leader said.

The decision to scale up protest against the Modi government was taken after two Congress members were evicted from the Lok Sabha by Speaker Om Birla after they unfurled a huge banner in the well of the House that read: 'Stop Murder of Democracy'.

Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi reached out to TMC leaders in the Lok Sabha to seek their support for the protests.

“This is a murder of democracy,” Sonia said as she joined the protests in the Parliament premises against the surprise swearing-in of Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar as chief minister and deputy chief minister of Maharashtra, respectively, by trying to “poach” MLAs from the NCP.

Leading the protests in the Lok Sabha, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said that asking questions to the government during the "Question Hour" does not make any sense as “democracy has been murdered in Maharashtra”.

The government is celebrating Constitution Day or 'Samvidhan Diwas' on Tuesday in the Central Hall of Parliament to mark the 70th anniversary of the adoption of the Constitution by the Constituent Assembly.

Government sources said that they were not aware of the protests planned by the Opposition but said that it would be a “suicidal step” to boycott the proceedings to celebrate the Constitution that was drafted by Ambedkar.

Besides President Kovind, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla and Prime Minister Narendra Modi are scheduled to address the joint sitting of both the Houses on Tuesday.

The president is also scheduled to inaugurate a digital exhibition on the 'History of Constitution of India'.

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