“To Save Face”: Himanta Sarma On Opposition’s Parliament Opening Boycott
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma slammed the Opposition on Wednesday stating that the inauguration of the new Parliament building was something that the latter did not expect to happen soon adding that the boycott is being done as the inauguration day coincides with the birth anniversary of Veer Savarkar.
While talking to the media, CM Sarma said, “The boycott is obvious. They opposed the construction of Parliament House. They never thought that the construction will be completed so soon. So, everything has happened like a bouncer for the Opposition.”
“Just to save their face, they are enacting the drama of boycott. Parliament House will open on the day associated with Veer Savarkar. That might be another reason for them to oppose or boycott the function,” the Chief Minister added.
His remarks come on the heels of Congress and 18 other opposition parties who have decided to boycott the inauguration of the new Parliament Building, saying that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to inaugurate the building without President Droupadi Murmu “insults the high office of the President, and violates the letter and spirit of the Constitution”.
In a joint statement, the like-minded opposition parties said that Prime Minister’s decision to inaugurate the building by himself is “a direct assault on our democracy, which demands a commensurate response.”
The new Parliament building will be inaugurated on May 28.
“When the soul of democracy has been sucked out from the Parliament, we find no value in a new building. We announce our collective decision to boycott the inauguration of the new Parliament building. We will continue to fight — in letter, in spirit, and in substance — against this authoritarian Prime Minister and his government, and take our message directly to the people of India,” the statement said.
The nineteen opposition parties who will boycott the inauguration are – Congress, DMK, Aam Aadmi Party, Shiv Sena (UBT), Samajwadi Party, TMC, Janta Dal (United), Nationalist Congress Party, Communist Party of India (Marxist), RJD, Indian Union Muslim League, National Conference, Communist Party of India, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, Kerala Congress (Mani), Vidhuthalai Chirunthaigal Katchi, Rashtriya Lok Dal, Revolutionary, Socialist Party and Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam.
The statement said that the inauguration of a new Parliament building is a momentous occasion.
“Despite our belief that the government is threatening democracy, and our disapproval of the autocratic manner in which the new Parliament was built, we were open to sinking our differences and marking this occasion. However, Prime Minister Modi’s decision to inaugurate the new Parliament building by himself, completely sidelining President Murmu, is not only a grave insult but a direct assault on our democracy which demands a commensurate response,” it said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla will dedicate to the nation the new Parliament building on May 28.
Invitations have been sent in both physical and digital forms to the MPs of both Houses.
President Droupadi Murmu and Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar are likely to release congratulatory messages on the occasion of the inauguration of the new Parliament building on May 28, sources said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of the new Parliament building on December 10, 2020. It has been built in record time with quality construction.
In the present building of the Parliament, there is a provision for the sitting of 543 Members in the Lok Sabha and 250 in the Rajya Sabha. Keeping in view the future requirements, arrangements have been made for a meeting of 888 members in the Lok Sabha and 384 members in the Rajya Sabha in the newly constructed building of the Parliament. The joint session of both Houses will be held in the Lok Sabha chamber.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)