Union Minister Hardeep Puri blasts Congress leaders over new Parliament opening controversy
With the Opposition objecting to the inauguration of the new Parliament building by Prime Minister Narendra Modi scheduled for May 28, Union Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri criticised Congress leaders for raking up the issue and selectively quoting articles in support of its arguments.
The basic grouse of the Congress has been that the new Parliament should have been inaugurated by the President of the country and not the Prime Minister. As per the programme put out by the government, the grand opening will follow the format of the groundbreaking ceremony in 2020 and will have Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla apart from PM Modi.
Ahead of the opening, hymn chanting, a havan, and a puja will be performed to commemorate it. The main programme is set to begin at 11.30 am and the rituals from early on. The Opposition has vowed to boycott the ceremony and questioned why the President was not inaugurating the new Parliament building while the Centre races against the clock to finish the preparation.
Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge claimed in a tweet that it appears the Modi Government has ensured the election of the President of India from Dalit and tribal communities only for electoral reasons. He recalled that former President Ram Nath Kovind had not been invited for the new Parliament foundation-laying ceremony and President Droupadi Murmu has not been invited for the inauguration of the new Parliament building.
The senior Rajya Sabha MP reminded everyone that the President of India is the country’s highest constitutional authority and the Parliament is its highest legislative body. President Murmu is the sole representative of the government, the opposition, and every citizen, he noted.
In his reaction to tweets by Kharge, Manish Tewari and Shashi Tharoor, Union Minister Puri said the Congress leaders should desist from such behaviour and celebrate the opening of the new Parliament building. He charged that the Congress leaders were unable to appreciate the fact that the country needed a larger Parliament and did nothing to get it done, but now since it was getting done, they were protesting against it.