Why has the new Parliament become the reason for a showdown between ruling BJP, Opposition? : The Tribune India

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Why has the new Parliament become the reason for a showdown between ruling BJP, Opposition?

There are many reasons, one of which is the deteriorating relations between the ruling party and the opposition inside and outside the Parliament, say observers

Why has the new Parliament become the reason for a showdown between ruling BJP, Opposition?

The new Parliament building is to be inaugurated on May 28, which also happens to be the birth anniversary of Hindutva ideologue Vinayak Damodar Savarkar.



Tribune Web Desk

Vibha Sharma

Chandigarh, May 25

Two days before the inauguration of the new Parliament building on May 28, which also happens to be the birth anniversary of Hindutva ideologue Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, the war of words between the leaders of the ruling BJP and opposition parties, especially the Congress, is only escalating.

Many of these opposition parties are in power in states--like the TMC, the DMK and AAP. And after the Opposition boycott call, the BJP-led NDA is also hitting back, calling the opposition stand a “blatant affront to democratic ethos and constitutional values of our great nation”.

AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi said if Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla did not inaugurate the new Parliament, his party would not attend the function.

On Wednesday, multiple opposition parties issued a joint statement announcing their decision to boycott the inauguration of the new building by PM Modi. Their united declaration stated that “when the soul of democracy has been sucked out from Parliament, we find no value in a new building. We announce our collective decision to boycott the inauguration of the new Parliament building.”

BJP hits back

The day saw top BJP leaders slamming the opposition over the demand that President Droupadi Murmu should inaugurate the new Parliament and other accusations. They quoted examples of past heads of national and state governments, including Congress prime ministers Indira Gandhi and Manmohan Singh, inaugurating legislature houses and also complexes in Parliament.

Prime Minister Narendra Modidid not make a direct mention of the issue but while addressing a gathering outside the Palam airport he did say that not only Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and that country's ruling party functionaries but a former prime minister and opposition members were present as well during the Indian community's programme in Sydney where he had spoken. “This was the atmosphere of democracy that everyone joined in the Indian community's programme,” PM Modi said.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who reminded the opposition of some of their statements on President Murmu, also asked it to re-think the decision. “It is a temple of democracy, even the PM entered the Parliament by bowing on its steps. I humbly request and appeal (to the Opposition), kindly re-think, change your stand and participate in the ceremony,” she was quoted as saying.

Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath called the opposition statements “unfortunate and irresponsible”. “Instead of making this historic occasion a dignified and proud moment, the Opposition, including Congress, is making such, statements…This weakens democracy...I think the country will not accept this under any circumstance,” the UP CM said.

Why the acrimony?

There are many reasons for the ongoing war of words between the BJP-led government and the opposition, one of which may be the deteriorating relations between the ruling party and the opposition both inside and outside the Parliament.

The last session saw the impasse between the two sides reach new lows. Observers say the relationship between the treasury benches and the opposition has never been so bad.

Besides the fact the plaque will hold the name of the person who inaugurates the most important building in the country. May 28 also happens to be the birth anniversary of Hindutva ideologue Vinayak Damodar Savarkar who has been a point of acrimony between the ruling BJP and the Congress.

Many political observers believe this to be another reason.

Besides, the opposition has constantly been raising questions on the inception, design and construction of the new building.

Riding the success in the recent Karnataka elections, Congress is sensing this as an opportune time to corner the ruling BJP on the issue on President Murmu’s tribal and backward caste status ahead of other state elections.

AAP too has termed PM Modi inaugurating the new Parliament building instead of President Murmu is an “insult” to her as well as the tribal and backward communities of the country.

Opposition attack and President Murmu

The opposition claims the Modi government made presidents from Dalit and tribal communities only for electoral gains.

In fact, the Congress stepped up its attack saying “one man's ego and desire for self-promotion” has denied the first tribal woman president her constitutional privilege to inaugurate the complex.

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge alleged that the “arrogance” of the Modi government has “destroyed” the parliamentary system.

“Mr Modi, Parliament is the temple of democracy established by the people. The office of the President is the first part of Parliament. The arrogance of your government has destroyed the parliamentary system.

“140 crore Indians want to know what do you want to show by taking away the right of the President of India to inaugurate the Parliament House?" the Congress chief said.

According to Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh, “Yesterday, President Draupadi Murmu inaugurated the country's largest judicial campus at the Jharkhand High Court complex in Ranchi. It is one man's ego and desire for self-promotion that has denied the first Adivasi woman President her Constitutional privilege to inaugurate the new Parliament building in New Delhi on May 28th.

“Ashoka the Great, Akbar the Great, Modi the Inaugurate," Ramesh said.

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The Tribune Web Desk brings you the latest news, analysis and insights from the region, India and around the world. Follow the Tribune Wed Desk for not just breaking news stories but wide-ranging coverage of events.

#BJP #Congress #Vinayak Damodar Savarkar


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