The new Parliament building will be inaugurated on May 28, and it has sparked a row amongst political parties, with Congress and eighteen other political parties from the opposition boycotting the occasion. The nineteen opposition parties also released a joint statement declaring their boycott on May 24.
The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has released a press statement condemning the opposition’s joint statement and the “contemptuous decision of 19 political parties to boycott the inauguration of the new Parliament building.” The NDA said that the act of these nineteen opposition parties is “is not merely disrespectful; it is a blatant affront to the democratic ethos and constitutional values of our great nation.”
“The same parties imposed the Emergency, a horrifying period in India’s history, suspending civil liberties and democratic processes. Their habitual misuse of Article 356 further exposes their blatant disregard for constitutional principles,” the statement read.
Furthermore, the BJP and other political parties, allied with the NDA, have announced their decision to attend the inauguration of the new Parliament building “in the true spirit of democracy”, calling it a “momentous occasion.”
Fourteen political parties – BJP, Shiv Sena, National People’s Party (NPP), Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP), Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM), Jananayak Janata Party (JJP), Rashtriya Lok Janshakti Party (RLJP), Apna Dal – Soneylal, Republican Party of India (RPI), Tamil Maanila Congress (TMC M), All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), India Makkal Kalvi Munnetra Kazhagam (IMKMK), All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU), Mizo National Front (MNF) signed the NDA’s press release, condemning the opposition’s joint statement.
Apart from NDA political parties, Biju Janata Dal (BJD), which forms the ruling government in the state of Odisha under Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, has confirmed that it will attend the inauguration of the new Parliament building on May 28. BJD national spokesperson Sasmit Patra said, “BJD believes that these Constitutional institutions should be above any issue which can always be debated later. Hence, the BJD shall be a part of this momentous occasion.”
Furthermore, the Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party (YSRCP), which forms the ruling government in the state of Andhra Pradesh, has also confirmed that it will attend the inauguration event.
On May 24, CM YS Jagan Mohan Reddy tweeted, “I congratulate @narendramodi ji for dedicating the grand, majestic and spacious Parliament building to the nation. Parliament, being the temple of democracy, reflects our nation’s soul and belongs to the people of our country and all the political parties.”
“Boycotting such an auspicious event is not in the true spirit of democracy. Setting aside all political differences, I request that all political parties attend this glorious event. In the true spirit of democracy, my party will attend this historic event,” he added.
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has also confirmed that it will attend the inauguration. The SAD spokesperson Daljit Singh Cheema said, “The inauguration of the new Parliament building is a matter of pride for the country, so we have decided that the SAD party will attend the inauguration ceremony on May 28. We do not agree with the issues raised by opposition parties.”
NDA’s Press Release Condemning Opposition’s Boycott
The parties of the NDA released a press statement condemning the decision of nineteen opposition parties boycotting the inauguration on the new Parliament building on May 24.
The press statement read, “The Parliament is a hallowed institution, the beating heart of our democracy, and the epicentre of decision-making that shapes and influences the lives of our citizens.” Furthermore, the press statement claimed that this is not the first instance of disdain, instead over the past nine years “these opposition parties have repeatedly shown scant regard for parliamentary procedures, disrupted sessions, staged walkouts during crucial legislations, and demonstrated an alarming lackadaisical attitude towards their Parliamentary duties,” calling the recent boycott another disregard for the democratic processes.
The NDA called the “audacity” of the opposition parties preaching about parliamentary decency and constitutional values as “nothing short of laughable.” The NDA said, “Their hypocrisy knows no bounds – they boycotted the special GST session presided over by the then President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee; skipped the ceremony when he was awarded the Bharat Ratna, and even extended a late courtesy call to Shri Ramnath Kovind Ji upon his election as President,” in its press statement.
The opposition’s joint statement claims that Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurating the new Parliament building is an grave insult to the office of the President of India. However, the NDA claimed that it is the opposition which has shown disrespect towards the President and said, “Further, the disrespect shown towards our current President, Smt. Droupadi Murmu, is a new low in political discourse. The staunch opposition to her candidature is not just an insult to her but a direct affront to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes of our nation.”
The press statement concluded, “Their actions today will echo through the annals of history, casting a long shadow over their legacy. We urge them to think about the nation and not individual political gains.”