New Delhi, May 23: Amid the opposition objection to Prime Minister NarendraModi inaugurating the new Parliament building on May 28, the official invitation put out by the LokSabha Secretariat shows that the ceremony will be performed by PM Modi in the presence of the Speaker of the Lower House, Om Birla.
The invitation accessed by ANI has been sent to various dignitaries including members of Parliament by the LokSabha secretary general Utpal Kumar Singh. The event will begin at 12 pm (noon) on May 28. This comes at a time when the opposition led by the Congress party has questioned the government over the Prime Minister inaugurating the new Parliament building and accused the BJP-led central government of insulting the top constitutional post of the country by not asking President of India DroupadiMurmu or Vice President JagdeepDhankhar for the inauguration.
Leading the attack against the Congress party, Union Minister for Urban Development (MoUD), Hardeep Singh Puri tweeted, " Congress has a habit of raking controversies where none exist. While President is the Head of State, PM is the Head of Govt and leads the Parliament on behalf of the Govt, whose Policies are effected in form of Laws. The President is not a Member of either House, whereas PM is.."
Other opposition leaders who spoke to the same tune as the Congress party include AIMIM president AsaduddinOwaisi and TMC's SukenduSekhar Roy.
According to sources, several opposition leaders are also considering boycotting the inaugural function on Sunday, alleging that the government has insulted the President.
In December 2020, when Prime Minister NarendraModi did the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Parliament building, the event was boycotted by Congress.
In response to the attack by the opposition on why the Prime Minister is inaugurating the Parliament building, the ruling party BJP has countered the arguments.
Official sources in the party said that the first big construction in the Parliament complex took place post-1970. Then President of India VV Giri laid the foundation of the Parliament Annexe Building on August 3, 1970.
"But the SansadiyaSoudha building was eventually inaugurated by then prime minister Indira Gandhi on October 24, 1975. That was exactly four months after she had imposed an Emergency, curtailing fundamental rights and ordering the detention of most opposition leaders," sources told ANI.
"That's not all. The second big construction in the Parliament complex, too, had the prime minister of the day occupying the centre stage. On August 15, 1987, PM Rajiv Gandhi laid the foundation of the Parliament Library building. It was seven years later that LokSabha Speaker ShivrajPatil led the groundbreaking ceremony for the building on April 17, 1994," they added.
Sources further said that there are portraits in the central hall and 20 of them were unveiled by presidents of India, starting with Dr Prasad and ending with Ram NathKovind, and two were unveiled by former prime minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and one each by former prime minister V P Singh and Chandra Shekhar Singh.
"Only one portrait in the central hall -- of DadabhaiNaoroji -- was unveiled by a Speaker. Since March 13, 1953, after Mavlankar, no Speaker has unveiled a portrait in the central hall. As per the records, Jawaharlal Nehru is the only PM to have even unveiled a portrait in the LokSabha chamber or inner lobby of Parliament. DrManmohan Singh had unveiled seven portraits in the Parliament Museum and archives during his tenure, while AtalBihari Vajpayee unveiled two. Between P V NarasimhaRao and Manmohan Singh, seven busts/statues were unveiled in the waiting rooms of Parliament House," sources said.
*Sharpening its attack on former Congress president Sonia Gandhi, the BJP stated that despite that she hasn't held any position in the government but she laid the foundation stone for the Atal tunnel on 28 June 2010 and inaugurated the Bandra - Worli Sea link in 2009.*
The new Parliament building symbolises the spirit of self-reliant India (Aatmanirbhar Bharat) and will be dedicated by PM Modi to the nation on May 28.
The present building of the Parliament was completed in 1927, which 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.