New Delhi, May 24
Even as politics over the inauguration of the new Parliament House Complex intensified on Wednesday, with 20 opposition parties announcing boycott of the May 28 opening, recent history reveals past heads of the national and state governments have unveiled legislature house complexes in different states.
In December 2011, for instance, then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh inaugurated several new buildings in Manipur’s capital Imphal, including the newly built state assembly complex. He was even joined in the inaugurations by then UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi.
Later again in March 2010, former PM Manmohan Singh accompanied by Sonia Gandhi declared open the world’s first green legislature building, the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly-Secretariat Complex on the Omanthoorar Government Estate in the presence of then state chief minister late M Karunanidhi.
Very lately in February 2019, Bihar CM Nitish Kumar inaugurated the central hall of the Bihar legislature.
The Congress and Nitish Kumar’s JDU have now both announced a boycott of the inauguration of the new Parliament complex by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Nineteen parties issued a joint statement earlier today announcing the boycott and said the inauguration by the PM was an insult to President Droupadi Murmu.
Yesterday, Union minister Hardeep Puri had said the Congress should feel better that on October 24, 1975 then PM Indira Gandhi inaugurated the Parliament Annexe and on August 15, 1987 then PM Rajiv Gandhi laid the foundation of the Parliament Library.
Congress MP Shashi Tharoor countered Puri saying “those were subsidiary buildings, an Annexe and a Library. This is a whole new Parliament! Doesn’t the Constitution say the President is its head, convenes Parliament and prorogues it? So shouldn’t she inaugurate it rather than the PM?”
The opposition is seeking to draw a distinction between the inauguration of a new Parliament and past inaugurations of state assembly complexes.
Under the Constitution, governors of states have the authority to summon and prorogue the House and dissolve the Legislative Assembly. (Article 174), just as the President of India.
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