19 Opposition parties boycott Parliament inauguration

New Delhi: Nineteen opposition parties, including the Congress and Delhi’s ruling Aam Aadmi Party, said they intend to boycott the inauguration of the new Parliament building in Delhi this weekend and criticized an ‘authoritarian prime minister and his government’.

“When the soul of democracy has been sucked out 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 opposition parties said that despite differences with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party they had been open to ‘sinking our differences and marking this occasion’ but said ‘prime minister Narendra Modi’s decision to inaugurate the Parliament building by himself, completely sidelining president (Droupadi) Murmu, is not only a grave insult but a direct assault on our democracy…”

Referring to the Constitution’s Article 79, the opposition parties said Murmu ‘is not only the Head of State but also an integral part of the Parliament’.

The BJP and members of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance will be in attendance, as will a few other major parties. Odisha’s Biju Janata Dal has not signed the opposition statement or announced its position on this issue. Telangana’s ruling Bharat Rashtra Samithi is attending, provisionally; the party is expected to take a decision Thursday.

The Shiromani Akali Dal will attend the ceremony; Daljit Cheema said the Punjab party ‘does not agree with issues raised by the opposition’. “… inauguration of the new Parliament building is a matter of pride for the country, so we have decided SAD will attend the inauguration ceremony…” (Hindustan Times inputs)

Image courtesy of Twitter

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