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Cong, Oppn object to Modi inaugurating new Parl’ complex on Savarkar's birth anniversary, may boycott

Cong, Oppn object to Modi inaugurating new Parl’ complex on Savarkars birth anniversary, may boycott

New Delhi: The Narendra Modi-led Central government has decided to inaugurate the newly built Parliament complex on May 28, the birth anniversary of the Hindutva ideologue V.D. Savarkar.

But the Congress and other opposition parties have opposed both the announcement of PM Narendra Modi inaugurating the Parliament building instead of the President in a country where the President consolidates the power and heads all democratic institutions and the inauguration on the birth anniversary of the controversial figure V.D. Savarkar.

Just as they stayed away from the foundation laying ceremony, it is expected that the Congress and other opposition parties will also refrain from attending the inauguration of the new parliament.

During the foundation-laying ceremony in December 2020, the Congress and other opposition parties had boycotted the function over the government’s decision to hold the function when the country was witnessing the massive protest by farmers, the rampant spread of the pandemic, and the economic distress caused by the lockdown.

The opposition parties have criticized the decision to have Prime Minister Modi inaugurate the new Parliament building on May 28 and have called for President Droupadi Murmu to be invited for the opening instead. Congress sources revealed that the opposition parties are likely to coordinate their stance on attending or abstaining from the event.

The Congress, in particular, has adopted a nuanced approach towards the issue. The party finds itself in a delicate position regarding Savarkar due to its alliance with Shiv Sena in Maharashtra. The Shiv Sena has made it clear to the Congress that it will not tolerate any criticism of Savarkar. Even Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) supremo Sharad Pawar has previously advised the Congress to refrain from attacking Savarkar.

Jairam Ramesh, the Congress communications head, expressed his discontent with the government's decision through a tweet, stating, "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."

Adding to the chorus of criticism, senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi joined other leaders in advocating for the new building to be inaugurated by President Murmu, emphasizing the importance of adhering to constitutional propriety.

Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge, on Monday, linked the issue to Dalits and tribals, stating, "It looks like the Modi Government has ensured the election of President of India from the Dalit and the Tribal communities only for electoral reasons. While former President Shri Kovind was not invited to the new Parliament foundation-laying ceremony, President of India Smt Droupadi Murmu is not being invited for the inauguration of the new Parliament Building."

Kharge emphasized that Parliament represented the highest legislative body of the republic, with the President serving as its utmost constitutional authority. He further asserted that the President alone symbolized the government, opposition, and every citizen.

By having President Murmu inaugurate the new Parliament building, the government would demonstrate its commitment to democratic values and constitutional propriety. Kharge criticized the Modi government for repeatedly disrespecting such propriety and reducing the Office of the President of India to mere tokenism under the BJP-RSS government.

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TAGS:Narendra ModiNew Parliament BuildingVD SavarkarThe Central Vista Project
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