New Delhi, May 24
Hours after 19 opposition parties led by the Congress issued a joint statement announcing boycott of the May 28 inauguration of the new Parliament by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, 14 ruling National Democratic Alliance partners in a counter move deplored the development asking the opposition for a rethink.
“We unequivocally condemn the contemptuous decision of 19 political parties to boycott the inauguration of the new Parliament building scheduled for Sunday, 28th May. This act is not merely disrespectful; it is a blatant affront to the democratic ethos and constitutional values of our great nation,” the statement signed by senior NDA leaders including BJP chief JP Nadda, Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde of Shiv Sena and Haryana deputy CM Dushyant Chautala of JJP said.
Terming opposition’s decision a flagrant disrespect towards the Parliament, NDA allies said in Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, India does not need divisiveness.
“We implore the Opposition parties to reconsider their decision, for if they do not, the 140 crore people of India will not forget this egregious insult to our democracy and to their elected representatives. 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,” the ruling alliance said.
The signatories lamented past instances of disdain shown to the Parliament.
“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. This recent boycott is just another feather in their cap of disregard for democratic processes,” the statement said.
It recalled that the opposition 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.
“Disrespect shown towards our current President 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,” they said adding that opposition disdain for parliamentary democracy is rooted in history.
“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. It is painfully apparent that the Opposition shuns Parliament because it represents the will of the people - a will that has repeatedly rejected their antiquated and self-serving politics. Their preference for semi-monarchic governments and family-run parties shows an aversion to vibrant democracy, an ideology incongruent with the ethos of our nation,” NDA allies said.
They said opposition unity is marked not by a shared vision for national development, but by a shared practice of vote bank politics and a propensity for corruption.
The statement was also signed by Conrad Sangma - CM, Meghalaya (National People’s Party); Neiphiu Rio - CM, Nagaland (Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party) , Prem Singh Tamang - CM, Sikkim (Sikkim Krantikari Morcha), Dushyant Chautala - Deputy CM, Haryana (Jananayak Janata Party); Pashupati Kumar Paras - Union Minister (Rashtriya Lok Janshakti Party); Anupriya Patel – Union Minister of State (Apna Dal – Soneylal); Ramdas Athawale - Union Minister of State (Republican Party of India, Maharashtra); GK Vasan - Member of Parliament (Tamil Maanila Congress); E. Palaniswami - Leader of Opposition, Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly (AIADMK); Devanathan - (IMKMK), Tamil Nadu, Sudesh Mahto - President, All Jharkhand Students Union and Zoramthanga, CM, Mizoram (Mizo National Front).
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