Following the Trinamool Congress, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Communist Party of India (CPI) on Tuesday declared they would not attend the May 28 inauguration of the new Parliament building in protest against Prime Minister Narendra Modi for “not inviting President Droupadi Murmu” to the event. Additional opposition parties, including the Congress, are likely to follow suit.
Sanjay Singh, an AAP member of parliament, called it a “gross insult” to the President.
“This is an insult to the Dalit tribal and deprived society of India. @AamAadmiParty will boycott the inauguration program in protest against Modi ji not inviting His Excellency the President,” he wrote on Twitter – which the AAP retweeted on its official handle.
D Raja, general secretary of the CPI, also said that his group will not be present at the ceremony. Modi was also accused by the CPI-M of ‘bypassing’ the President by dedicating the new parliament building to himself in addition to laying the structure’s cornerstone.
“When laying the cornerstone for the new Parliament building, Modi disregarded the President. Additionally at the inauguration now. Unacceptable. There shall be a Parliament for the Union, consisting of the President and two Houses, according to Article 79 of the Constitution.
“Only when the President of India summons the Parliament can it meet. The President begins, annually, Parliamentary functioning by addressing the joint session. The first business Parliament transacts each year is the ‘Motion of Thanks’ to President’s Address,” party general secretary Sitaram Yechury tweeted.
The Trinamool Congress (TMC) and CPI previously declared their intention to skip the inaugural ceremony.
TMC MP Derek O’Brien slammed Modi for making the new Parliament building “all about himself”. “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. For him, Sunday’s inauguration of the new building is all about I, ME, MYSELF. So count us out,” he wrote on Twitter.
A final decision will be made on Wednesday, according to a news source, although major opposition groups, including Congress, are expected to forgo the event together.
On May 28 at 12 p.m. in the nation’s capital, Modi is set to dedicate the new Parliament structure. The new structure, according to the Lok Sabha secretariat, has roomy chairs, the most modern amenities, and tablets on each workstation. The Lok Sabha will convene with 888 members instead of the existing 543, and the Rajya Sabha will meet with 384 members instead of the current 250 seats, it continued.