With Prime Minister Narendra Modi set to inaugurate the new Parliament building on May 28, which happens to be the birth anniversary of Hindutva ideologue V D Savarkar, several opposition parties on Friday targeted the government with the Congress calling it a “complete insult” to the country’s founding fathers.
Some opposition parties also asked why would the prime minister, who is the head of the executive and not the legislature, inaugurate it.
Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said on Twitter, “A complete insult to all our Founding Fathers and Mothers. A total rejection of Gandhi, Nehru, Patel, Bose, et al. A blatant repudiation of Dr. Ambedkar.”
He was responding to a tweet by TMC MP Sukhendu Sekhar Ray, who tweeted, “26 November 2023- Indian Constitution which gifted parliamentary democracy to the nation shall step into 75th year which would’ve been befitting for inauguration of new Sansad Bhawan. But it shall be done on 28 May, birthday of Savarkar- How much relevant?” Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla met Modi on Thursday and extended an invitation to inaugurate the new building, the Lok Sabha Secretariat said.
“Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi will inaugurate the new Parliament building on 28th May 2023, which is also the 140th birth anniversary of Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, the great son of India,” BJP IT department head Amit Malviya tweeted.
“Veer Savarkar was born on 28th May 1883 in Bhagur. The new Parliament is designed to last at least 150 years. The current premise has been in existence for 100 years now,” he added.
RJD leader Manoj Kumar Jha said, “Shouldn’t the honorable @rashtrapatibhvn be inaugurating the new ‘Sansad Bhavan’? I leave it at that…Jai Hind.” AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi asked why should the prime minister inaugurate the Parliament building? “He is head of the executive, not legislature. We have separation of powers and Hon’ble Lok Sabha Speaker and Rajya Sabha Chair could have inaugurated (it). It’s made with public money, why is PM behaving like his ‘friends’ have sponsored it from their private funds,” Owaisi said on Twitter.
Congress whip in Lok Sabha Manickam Tagore reiterated the party’s allegation that its members were not allowed to speak in Parliament and their microphones were switched off.
“We need to understand that the Parliament is not just about bricks, cement and steel. It is also about the voices of people who are voiceless. It’s not about chairs, space, it is not about the facilities. It is about the right of the opposition members to speak,” he said.
“Will the mikes be on in the new Parliament, that is the question we have to ask. We hope that the prime minister realises that Parliament is the temple of democracy and it means that we should allow the opposition to speak and the mikes should also be on,” Tagore said in a video message.
The new Parliament building can comfortably seat 888 members in the Lok Sabha chamber and 300 in the Rajya Sabha chamber, according to the Lok Sabha Secretariat.
With inputs from News18