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Boycott history? Which opposition parties will skip PM Modi’s inauguration of new parliament building

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inspects the construction works of the new parliament building. FILE | PTI.

India’s new parliament building will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday, May 28, but 19 Congress-led opposition parties will boycott the event, citing the PM’s decision to inaugurate it himself and “completely sidelining” President Draupadi. Murmu insults the high office of president and violates the letter and the spirit of the Constitution.

“The President is not only the Head of State in India but also an integral part of Parliament…. Parliament cannot function without the President. Yet, the Prime Minister has decided to inaugurate the new parliament building without her,” reads the joint statement from the like-minded opposition parties.

The 19 opposition parties have declared that Article 79 of the Constitution of India states: “There shall be a Parliament for the Union which shall consist of the President and two houses to be called the Council of States and the House respectively. People”.

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Which 19 opposition parties are boycotting the inauguration of Parliament?

1- Indian National Congress (INC)

2- Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK)

3- Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)

4- Shiv Sena (Uddhav Bal Thackeray)

5- Samajwadi Party (SP)

6- Communist Party of India (CPI)

7- Jharkhand Mukhti Morcha (JMM)

8- Kerala Congress (Mani)

9- Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi

10- Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD)

11- Trinamool Congress (TMC)

12- Janata Dal (USA) (JD(U))

13- Nationalist Congress Party (NCP)

14- Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI-M)

15- Rashtriya Janata Dal (RLD)

16- Indian Union Muslim League (IUML)

17- National Conference (CN)

18- Revolutionary Socialist Party

19- Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam

Read also : Hands of Gold: PM Modi pays tribute to the 60,000 workers who built the new Parliament building

“Anti-democratic acts are not new”

The parties further alleged that “undemocratic acts are nothing new to the prime minister, who has tirelessly gutted parliament.”

“Opposition MPs have been disqualified, suspended and muted for raising the issues of the Indian people. Treasury Bench MPs have disrupted Parliament. Many controversial pieces of legislation including the three agriculture, were passed with almost no debate, and parliamentary committees have all but disappeared,” reads the joint statement.

“The new parliament building was built at great expense during a pandemic that only happens once in a century, without consultation with the people of India or MPs, for whom it is apparently being built,” it read.

“When the soul of democracy has been sucked out of 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, spirit and substance – against this authoritarian Prime Minister and his government, and will take our message directly to the people of India,” the statement concluded.

In December 2000, Congress and a number of opposition parties skipped the foundation-laying ceremony for the new parliament building.

Who called for the boycott?

The boycott call this time gained momentum from Tuesday after Mamata Banerjee-led TMC and Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP announced their decision to skip the event following a meeting between chiefs of both parties. Kejriwal met with Mamata to ask for his support against the Center’s ordinance on control of administrative services in the capital.

The CPI and CPI(M) also announced on Tuesday their decision to boycott the event.

Who will attend the inauguration of the new Parliament building?

BJP and National Democratic Alliance (NDA) members will attend the inauguration.

The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) of Odisha is expected to attend as it has not signed the opposition statement or announced its position on this issue.

Telangana leader Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) is also expected to attend. A final call is expected on Thursday.

Andhra Pradesh YSRCP Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy will attend the ceremony, party MP Vijaysai Reddy confirmed on Wednesday.

With contributions from agencies

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