Nineteen Opposition parties, including Congress, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Shiv Sena (UBT), Trinamool Congress (TMC), and Janata Dal (United), announced they will boycott the inauguration of the new Parliament building on May 28.
The Opposition parties issued a joint statement on May 24 that they would not attend the inauguration of the new Parliament building by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“The inauguration of a new Parliament building is a momentous occasion. Despite our belief that the government is threatening democracy, and our disapproval of the autocratic manner in which the new Parliament was built, we were open to sinking our differences and marking this occasion. However, 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”, the statement reads.
The Opposition in the joint statement mentions, ‘The Constitution of India states, in Article 79’ which states, “There shall be a Parliament for the Union which shall consist of the President and two Houses to be known respectively as the Council of States and the House of the People.” The President is not only the Head of State in India, but also an integral part of the Parliament. She summons, prorogues, and addresses the Parliament. She must assent for an Act of Parliament to take effect. In short, the Parliament cannot function without the President. Yet, the Prime Minister has decided to inaugurate the new Parliament building without her. This undignified act insults the high office of the President, and violates the letter and spirit of the Constitution. It undermines the spirit of inclusion which saw the nation celebrate its first woman Adivasi President”.
“We announce our collective decision to boycott the inauguration of the new Parliament building. 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 statement reads.
The 19 Opposition boycotting the inauguration of new parliament building are as follows: Indian National Congress, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, Aam Aadmi Party, Shiv Sena (UBT), Samajwadi Party, Communist Party of India, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, Kerala Congress (Mani), Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi, Rashtriya Lok Dal, Trinamool Congress, Janata Dal (United), Nationalist Congress Party, Communist Party of India (Marxist), Rashtriva Janata Dal, Indian Union Muslim League, National Conference, Revolutionary Socialist Party, Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam.
The present building of the Parliament was completed in 1927, and is now going to be almost 100 years old. The lack of space was being experienced in this building as per the present requirements. In both Houses, there was also a lack of convenient arrangements for the sitting of the MPs which was affecting the efficiency of the work of the Members.
Considering the above, both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha passed resolutions urging the government to construct a new building for the Parliament. Consequently, on December 10, 2020, the foundation stone of the new building of Parliament was laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The newly constructed Parliament building has been built in record time with quality construction.
Now the newly constructed building of Parliament, which will work to further enrich India’s glorious democratic traditions and constitutional values, is also equipped with state-of-the-art facilities which will help the Members to perform their functions in a better way.
In the present building of the Parliament, there is a provision for the sitting of 543 Members in the Lok Sabha and 250 in the Rajya Sabha. Keeping in view the future requirements, arrangements have been made for a meeting of 888 members in the Lok Sabha and 384 members in the Rajya Sabha in the newly constructed building of the Parliament. The joint session of both Houses will be held in the Lok Sabha Chamber.