Symbol of Democracy: Controversy Surrounds Inauguration of New Parliament Building

Image Source: Indian Express

The Supreme Court vacation bench has dismissed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) that sought the Lok Sabha Secretariat to inaugurate the new Parliament building with President Droupadi Murmu instead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as currently scheduled. Citing Article 79 of the Constitution, the petitioner argued that since the President possesses the authority to convene and dissolve Parliament or dissolve the Lok Sabha, she should not be excluded from the inauguration of the new Parliament building.

In a plea to opposition parties planning to boycott the event, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh urged them to reconsider their decision. He emphasized that the new Parliament is a symbol of democracy and the collective aspirations of all Indians, urging against politicizing the event. However, the political battle intensified on Thursday as more non-NDA parties, including the BSP, TDP, and JD(S), opposed the boycott announced by 20 opposition parties. BSP chief Mayawati deemed the decision to boycott as “inappropriate.” In Bengaluru, JD(S) leader and former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda stated, “I am attending the inauguration… It is the property of the country. It is not anyone’s personal matter… That magnificent building was built with taxpayers’ money… It is not a BJP or RSS office.”

Meanwhile, the Union Finance Ministry has announced the launch of a ₹75 coin to commemorate the inauguration of the new Parliament building. The circular coin, with a diameter of 44 millimeters, will consist of a quaternary alloy comprising 50 percent silver, 40 percent copper, 5 percent nickel, and 5 percent zinc, as per the ministry’s notification.

Re-Reported from the story originally published in Indian Express.