‘Unworthy act’: 19 opposition parties boycott the inauguration of the new parliament building

A total of 19 opposition parties, including the Congress, have collectively decided to boycott Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s inauguration of the new parliament building, saying the “undignified act is an affront to the high office of the president”.

Prime Minister Modi will inaugurate the new parliament building on May 28, which also coincides with the birthday of Hindutva ideologue VD Savarkar. The invitation was sent by Lok Sabha Speaker On Birla.

The opposition parties have accused the Prime Minister Modi-led BJP government of insulting the country’s highest constitutional post by not asking President Droupadi Murmu or Vice President Jagdeep Dhankar to inaugurate it.

In a joint statement, they said the inauguration of the parliament building is a “momentous occasion”, but “Prime Minister Modi’s decision to single-handedly inaugurate the new parliament building, completely sidelining President Murmu, is not only a serious an insult, but also an outright attack on our democracy that requires a proportionate response.”

The signatories are: Congress, Trinamool Congress, DMK, Janata Dal (United), AAP, CPI-M, CPI, SP, NCP, SS (UBT), RJD, IUML, JMM, NC, KC (M), RSP, VCK , MDMK and RLD.

“In short, Parliament cannot function without the president. Nevertheless, the prime minister has decided to inaugurate the new parliament building without her. This unworthy act insults the high office of the President and violates the letter and spirit of the Constitution. It undermines the spirit of inclusion with which the nation celebrated its first female Adivasi president,” the parties said.

“If the soul of democracy has been sucked out of parliament, we will find no value in a new building. We announce our collective decision to boycott the inauguration of the new parliament building,” the opposition parties said in their joint statement.

Earlier, opposition parties had boycotted the foundation stone ceremony laid by Prime Minister Modi in December 2020, citing concerns over its timing amid farmer protests, the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic distress caused by a lockdown .

Meanwhile, reacting to the boycott’s decision, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi called it an “unfortunate decision”.

“Boycotting and turning a non-issue into a problem is highly unfortunate. I appeal to them to reconsider their decision and join the position,” Joshi told reporters here on the sidelines of a national workshop on National e-Vidhan Application, ANI reported.

He also said that the Lok Sabha chairman was the custodian of the parliament and that he had invited the prime minister to inaugurate the new building.

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