BJD and YSRCP both declared on Wednesday that they will be attending the new parliament’s inauguration ceremony, despite the fact that many parties had planned a boycott of it in the wake of Prime Minister Modi’s controversial move.
In a letter sent by BJD spokesperson Lenin Mohanty announcing the attendance of party MPs at the inauguration ceremony, the party stated its belief that the parliament stood above politics as a symbol of democracy and that its standing and authority should always be preserved. “BJD thinks that any problem that can compromise these constitutional institutions’ sanctity and honour should be above them. The august house is always a good place to discuss such matters, it stated. The party currently has 12 LokSabha MPs and 8 Rajya Sabha MPs.
“The president of India is the head of the Indian State. The parliament represents 1.4 billion people of India. Both the institutions are symbols of Indian democracy and draw their authority from the constitution of India,” the letter said.
On Sunday, the new parliament will be officially inaugurated. In a joint statement on Wednesday, 19 opposition parties—including the Congress and Delhi’s ruling Aam Aadmi Party—announced the boycott and referred to the inauguration as a “grave insult” and “direct assault” on democracy. They had indicated that it was an insult to the country that president Draupadi Murmu was not doing the unveiling.
Just two weeks have passed since Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited in New Delhi before the BJD made their declaration. Later, he claimed that he had discussed the speeding of work on the Jagannath International Airport with the PM and that the latter had pledged all cooperation.
Later, when speaking to reporters, he reiterated his party’s position that it would contest elections alone and stated he did not foresee the prospect of a third front. This action by the BJD demonstrates that the party is currently unlikely to alter its stance of maintaining an equal distance between the BJP and the Congress, at least prior to the general and assembly elections in 2024. Nitish Kumar, the chief minister of Bihar, and Mamata Banerjee, the chief minister of West Bengal, approached Patnaik, 76, a chief minister since March 2000, about forming a coalition to oppose the NDA administration.
The YSRCP has also declared their attendance at the event. Since the state’s division in June 2014, the Centre has only recently authorised the largest-ever amount of funding for Andhra Pradesh. The chief minister of Andhra Pradesh, YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, has also mostly continued to subtly support the policies of the Centre, joining the opposition only on rare occasions.
Prahlad Joshi, a minister for the union, had earlier in the day called the opposition’s decision to skip the event regrettable. “I’d like to let them know that this is a historic occurrence. Politics are not appropriate at this time.Boycotting and creating problems out of fresh problems are quite regrettable. I implore them to change their minds and take part in this historic activity,” he continued.
While Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), Yuvajana Shramika Rythu Congress Party (YSRCP), Telugu Desam Party (TDP) have confirmed their attendance, some others such as Shiv Sena (Shinde faction), Bahujan Samaj Part (BSP), All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) are expected to be there. Apart from Congress and AAP, the ones that have announced a boycott include the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), Shiv Sena (UBT), Samajwadi Party (SP), Communist Party of India,Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), Trinamool Congress (TMC), Janata Dal (United), Nationalist Congress Party, Communist Party of India (Marxist), Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and others.
The Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) is expected to take a call on this on Thursday.