‘Count us out’: TMC, CPI to boycott inauguration of new Parliament building


The Trinamool Congress and Communist Party of India on Tuesday said they will boycott the inauguration of the new Parliament building by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 28.

While slamming PM Modi, TMC leader and Rajya Sabha MP Derek O’Brien said that for the prime minister, the inauguration of Parliament was “all about I, me, myself”.

“Parliament is not just a new building; it is an establishment with old traditions, values, precedents and rules – it is the foundation of Indian democracy. PM Modi doesn’t get that,” O’Brien wrote on Twitter.

“For him, Sunday’s inauguration of the new building is all about I, ME, MYSELF. So count us out,” he further wrote.

CPI general secretary D Raja also said his party will not attend the ceremony.

Leader of TMC in Lok Sabha, Sudip Bandyopadhyay, told PTI that the inauguration programme should have been held either on Independence Day, or Republic Day, or on Gandhi Jayanti, and not on the birth anniversary of VD Savarkar.

“We have decided to boycott the inauguration programme of the new Parliament building on May 28. The inauguration should have been done on either Independence Day or Republic Day, or on the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. It should not have been done on the birth anniversary of VD Savarkar,” he said.

On May 28, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will officially open the new multibillion-dollar Parliament building. The four-storey building can accommodate roughly 1,200 MPs. The new parliament building will have a grand constitution hall to showcase India’s heritage, a lounge for Members of Parliament, a library, multiple committee rooms, dining areas and parking space.

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla met Prime Minister Modi on Thursday and invited him to inaugurate the new Parliament building. The construction of the new Parliament is complete now and the new building symbolises the spirit of self–reliant India, the Lok Sabha Secretariat said.

Meanwhile, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Sunday suggested that President Murmu should inaugurate the new building instead of PM Modi.

The opposition parties have raised objections to Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurating the new Parliament building and said President Droupadi Murmu should do the honours instead.

“One question for the government — why are you insulting the president who happens to be a woman from a humble background? Is it because she comes from a humble background? The president is the first citizen of the country and why are you not getting the new building of Parliament, which is called the pillar of democracy, inaugurated by her? ”This is because you want your name to be etched on its stones. You want to insult a woman and a tribal because there is no election in the state she comes from,” Congress spokesperson Gourav Vallabh said.

”Whether we will boycott or attend, we will take a decision at the right time,” he added.

The opposition parties had boycotted the ceremony to lay the foundation stone of the building by Modi in December 2020, citing concerns about its timing amid farmer protests, the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic distress due to a lockdown.

The grand opening of the new building, PTI reported, will be marked by the chanting of hymns, a ”havan” and a ”puja”. The rituals will start in the morning and the main programme is scheduled to be held in the afternoon.

Besides Modi, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla will be present at the opening ceremony.

The invitation card for the event states the ceremony will start at noon and requests the invitees to take their seats by 11.30 am.

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