‘Soul Of Democracy Sucked Out’: Congress To Boycott New Parliament Opening As Oppn Unites

After a number of opposition parties announced that they will boycott the inauguration of the new Parliament building on May 28, now Congress has also decided to stay away from the event. A total of 19 opposition parties have come together and said that they will not attend the opening of the new Parliament building on May 28. They said that ‘when the soul of democracy has been sucked out from the Parliament, we find no value in a new building’.

Giving the detail, Congress general secretary KC Venugopal said, “Congress party discussed with all like-minded parties to boycott the inaugural function of the new Parliament building on 28th May. We are very happy that all opposition parties are coming together to fight against this.”

“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,” the statement read.

On the issue of President Droupadi Murmu not inaugurating the new Parliament complex, the parties said, ” 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.”

“The Constitution of India states, in Article 79, that ‘There shall be a Parliament for the Union which shall consist of the President and two Houses to be known respectively as the Council of States and the House of the People’. The President is not only the Head of State in India but also an integral part of the Parliament. She summons, prorogues, and addresses the Parliament. She must assent for an Act of Parliament to take effect,” the statement further said. 

The parties said, “In short, the Parliament cannot function without the President. Yet, the Prime Minister has decided to inaugurate the new Parliament building without her. This undignified act insults the high office of the President, and violates the letter and spirit of the Constitution. It undermines the spirit of inclusion which saw the nation celebrate its first woman Adivasi President.”

Accusing the Centre of muting the voice of opposition leaders, the statement said, “Undemocratic acts are not new to the Prime Minister, who has relentlessly hollowed out the Parliament. Opposition Members of Parliament have been disqualified, suspended and muted when they raised the issues of the people of India. MPs from the Treasury benches have disrupted Parliament. Many controversial legislations, including the three farm laws, have been passed with almost no debate, and Parliamentary Committees have been practically made defunct.”

The parties said that the new Parliament building has been built at great expense during a “once-in-a-century pandemic with no consultation with the people of India or MPs”, for whom it is apparently being built.

“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 concluded.

The joint statement has been issued by the following parties: 

Indian National Congress 
Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam 
Aam Aadmi Party
Shiv Sena (UBT) 
Samajwadi Party
Communist Party of India 
Jharkhand Mukti Morcha
Kerala Congress (Mani)
Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi 
Rashtriya Lok Dal
Trinamool Congress
Janata Dal (United) 
Nationalist Congress Party
Communist Party of India (Marxist)
Rashtriya Janata Dal 
Indian Union Muslim League
National Conference 
Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kathagam
Revolutionary Socialist Party


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