‘Modi snatched the right from President Murmu’: Opposition slams Parliament inauguration

By, New Delhi
May 29, 2023 04:37 AM IST

The Congress was among 22 parties that boycotted the opening of the new Parliament, arguing that President Murmu should have presided over the inauguration.

Opposition parties on Sunday slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for inaugurating the new Parliament building, and accused him of “snatching the right” from the President.

The new Parliament building was inaugurated on Sunday. (AFP)
The new Parliament building was inaugurated on Sunday. (AFP)

The Congress was among 22 parties that boycotted the grand opening of the new Parliament, arguing that President Droupadi Murmu should have presided over the inauguration, not PM Modi. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) called the boycott a “blatant affront to democratic ethos and constitutional values of our great nation”.

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A total of 25 parties, including the ruling BJP, the Biju Janata Dal, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), the Janata Dal (Secular) and YSR Congress Party, attended the inaugural event, while 22 parties, including the Congress, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, Aam Aadmi Party, Trinamool Congress (TMC) and Samajwadi Party, stayed away.

Read: ‘Self-glorifying authoritarian’ PM inaugurated new Parliament building: Congress

Hours after the inauguration, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge tweeted in Hindi: “The right to inaugurate the new Parliament was snatched from the President. Women athletes were beaten up on the streets with dictatorial force... The three lies of BJP-RSS rulers now stand exposed before the country - Democracy, Nationalism and Save Daughter.”

“Remember Modi ji, democracy is not just about buildings but functions with the voice of the public,” he added, referring to the police action against the wrestlers protesting outside Jantar Mantar.

The BJP, however, said the event will be written in “golden words” and asked the Opposition not to do politics over it.

“The inauguration of the new Parliament will be written in golden words in history. This will represent the constitutional principles of the country forever,” Union minister for tribal affairs Arjun Munda said.

“They (Opposition) should ask themselves what they did for the tribals in 75 years. When BJP made Droupadi Murmu the President, they came together to defeat her. Now they are talking about the President? The Opposition should not do politics over the inauguration,” he added.

Speaking to reporters in Pune, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar said he was “happy” that he was not a part of the inauguration. “I saw the event in the morning. I am happy I did not go there. I am worried after seeing whatever happened there. Are we taking the country backwards? Was this event for limited people only?” he asked, referring to the various rituals performed at the inaugural ceremony.

He added that whatever happened at the ceremony is the exact reverse of former prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s concept of society. “What is happening there is exactly the reverse of Pandit Nehru’s concept to make a society based on modern science. It’s the government’s responsibility to invite the President and Vice-President. Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla was present, but Vice-President Jagdeep Dhankhar, the head of Rajya Sabha, wasn’t there. Therefore, the whole event looks like it was for limited people..,” he said.

Taking to Twitter, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said the event was being presented as a “coronation” ceremony. “Parliament is the voice of the people! The Prime Minister is considering the inauguration of the Parliament House as a coronation,” he said. Party general secretary Jairam Ramesh also tweeted: “A self-glorifying authoritarian Prime Minister with utter disdain for Parliamentary procedures, who rarely attends Parliament or engages in it, inaugurates the New Parliament building in 2023. Fabrication of facts by Distorians and the drum-beating of the media hits new lows in 2023.”

TMC leader Derek O’Brien also targeted Modi, saying: “Now that PM Modi is done with his ‘I Only Love Myself Day’, let us remind him of how he and his government have mocked and insulted Parliament in the last nine years.”

Read: How religious leaders reacted as PM Modi inaugurated new Parliament building

He added: “The number of Ordinances promulgated by the Modi government has more than doubled compared to earlier. Eight sessions of Parliament have been adjourned before the scheduled date. It has been four years, but there is still no deputy speaker in the Lok Sabha.”

In a series of tweets, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury alleged that the inaugural ceremony was held amid “loud propaganda” with the declaration of a “new India”.

Tamil Nadu chief minister M K Stalin said the ‘Sengol’ installed in the new Parliament building has “bent” the very first day, as he reacted sharply to the police’s detention of protesting wrestlers at Jantar Mantar. “Police detaining them (wrestlers) after dragging them is condemnable. This shows the Sengol has bent the very first day. Is it fair that such atrocity should also happen on a day of (new Parliament building) inauguration that sidestepped the President and amid opposition boycott,” he tweeted.

Hitting back at the Opposition parties that boycotted the event, BJP leader Ramesh Bidhuri said: “There is no controversy, the Opposition just opposes the PM in every decision. PM Modi has done all this for the country.”

The BSP, which was among the 25 parties that attended the event, congratulated the Centre. “Congratulations to the Centre... It would be appropriate that this new building should be used in the interest of the country and its people as per the humanitarian thoughts of Babasaheb Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar and the noble intention of the holy Constitution made by him,” party chief Mayawati tweeted in Hindi.

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