Constitution Day: 13 opposition parties decide to skip Parliament event today
As many as 13 Opposition parties led by the Congress have decided to skip the Constitution Day celebrations in the Central Hall of Parliament on Friday.
As many as 13 Opposition parties led by the Congress have decided to skip the Constitution Day celebrations in the Central Hall of Parliament on Friday, two senior Congress leaders said on Thursday.
The opposition parties have decided to boycott the programme to protest the government’s “disrespect” towards them, its refusal to pay heed to their demands and hurried passage of bills in Parliament, the leaders cited above said on condition of anonymity.
The decision was taken at the Congress’s parliamentary strategy group meeting held at party chief Sonia Gandhi’s residence here.
Several leaders, including Rajya Sabha’s leader of the opposition Mallikarjun Kharge, Lok Sabha floor leader Adhi Ranjan Chowdhury and the party’s Upper House deputy leader Anand Sharma, who attended the meeting, extended their support to the boycott, the leaders said.
“How can we celebrate Constitution Day when the government doesn’t give any space to the opposition leaders?” one of the leaders said.
The Congress has negotiated with the Trinamool Congress, Samajwadi Party, Nationalist Congress Party, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, Aam Aadmi Party, Shiv Sena, CPM, CPI, Revolutionary Socialist Party, Indian Union Muslim League, Rashtriya Janata Dal and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha over the opposition plan, the leader added.
In 2019 too, Opposition parties had skipped the programme and instead, gathered around BR Ambedkar’s statue at the Parliament complex to read the Constitution, to register their protest.
President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, among other leaders are slated to attend the event in Parliament at 11 am on Friday.
“President Kovind, after his speech, will read the Preamble of the Constitution and also release the digital version of Constituent Assembly Debates, calligraphed copy of Constitution of India and updated version of the Constitution of India that will include all amendments till date. He will also inaugurate ‘Online Quiz on Constitutional Democracy’,” a press note by the government said.
Besides boycotting the programme, the Congress, during the meeting, also decided to demand the repeal of the contentious farm laws on the opening day of the winter session on November 29 and seek a proper debate on the repeal bill which was approved by the Union Cabinet on Wednesday.
The meeting also discussed that the Congress will reach out to other opposition parties, in a bid for larger floor coordination, and demand in Parliament a separate law to guarantee farmers minimum support price for crops, which so far has been an executive decision.
With the Uttar Pradesh elections round the corner, the Congress will also demand the resignation of Union minister of state for home affairs Ajay Mishra Teni in connection with the Lakhimpur Kheri violence that left eight people dead last month.
The party will also press for a debate on price rise and compensation of ₹4 lakhs to kin of Covid-19 victims.
Congress leaders AK Antony, KC Venugopal, Gaurav Gogoi, K Suresh, Jairam Ramesh, Manickam Tagore and Ravneet Singh Bittu also attended the meeting.