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‘Constitution Not Being Respected’: Congress Ahead Of Inauguration Of New Parliament Building | India News

New Delhi: Ahead of the opening of the new parliament building, Congress on Monday accused the Centre of disrespecting Constitutional propriety and demanded that President Droupadi Murmu should do the inauguration instead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Addressing a press conference, Congress’ senior spokesperson Anand Sharma said that PM Modi should urge the President to inaugurate the building and she should be accorded the honour as head of the institution of Parliament.

“The Congress has expressed its concern as the principal opposition party and we feel strongly that the constitutional propriety should be maintained and the honourable president who is the head of the Parliament should be requested by the government to inaugurate,” Anand Sharma said.

He said that the prime minister has every right to be there and that Congress is only pointing out what is ‘constitutionally correct’. It is not proper constitutionally to keep the President of India out of such a big decision, he added.

“We feel that the Constitution is not being respected… It does not give a good message that earlier a Dalit President was not invited and now a tribal woman is being kept away from this decision,” Sharma said.

Earlier, Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge and former party president Rahul Gandhi had said that the president should inaugurate the new Parliament House and not the prime minister.

In a series of tweets, Kharge said that the then president Ram Nath Kovind was not invited to the new Parliament’s foundation laying ceremony in December 2020 and claimed that President Murmu is not being invited to the inauguration of the new Parliament building.

“The Modi Government has repeatedly disrespected propriety. The Office of the President of India is reduced to tokenism under the BJP-RSS Government,” he alleged.

Noting that Parliament is the supreme legislative body while the President is the highest Constitutional authority, Kharge said she alone represents the government, the Opposition, and every citizen alike.

“She is the First Citizen of India. Inauguration of the new Parliament building by her will symbolise the government’s commitment to democratic values and Constitutional propriety,” he tweeted.

Prime Minister Modi will inaugurate the new Parliament building on May 28 following an invitation by Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla.

BJP hits back at Congress

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), however, slammed the Opposition and said they do not refrain from ‘playing negative politics’ even in this ‘glorious moment’.

“The Opposition is indulging in cheap politics at a time when they should be together because Parliament is a symbol of Indian democracy. It is not related to any political party,” BJP national spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi said.

BJP chief spokesperson Anil Baluni said that whenever a good thing happens, Congress leaders resort to ‘cheap politics’. 

“When the nation is feeling proud on the construction of the new parliament building, Congress leaders have again stooped to a new low,” he said.

It is notable that Prime Minister Modi laid the foundation stone of the new parliament building on December 10, 2020. The present parliament building, which was completed in 1927 and is now 96 years old, was found to be inadequate for present-day requirements.

New parliament can seat 888 members in Lok Sabha chamber

The new Parliament building can comfortably seat 888 members in the Lok Sabha chamber and 300 in the Rajya Sabha chamber. In the case of a joint sitting of both Houses, a total of 1,280 members can be accommodated in the Lok Sabha chamber.

The new building, constructed by Tata Projects Ltd, will also have a grand constitution hall to showcase India’s democratic heritage, a lounge for MPs, a library, multiple committee rooms, dining areas and ample parking space. The triangular-shaped four-storey building has a built-up area of 64,500 square meters.

The building has three main gates — Gyan Dwar, Shakti Dwar, and Karma Dwar. It will have separate entrances for VIPs, MPs, and visitors.

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