Ghulam Nabi Azad reacts amid new Parliament building row: 'Let's appreciate, not boycott'
Ghulam Nabi Azad said if he were in Delhi on Sunday, he would have attended the inauguration of the new Parliament building.
Former Rajya Sabha member Ghulam Nabi Azad of the Democratic Progressive Azad Party on Saturday criticised the opposition parties for boycotting the scheduled inauguration of the new Parliament building on Sunday. Azad said the ruling party should be appreciated for completing the project in “record time”, something the Opposition was never able to achieve during their tenure and said he is “strictly against the boycott”.
Azad further said if he were in Delhi on Sunday, he would have attended the inauguration of the new Parliament building. So far, 21 opposition parties have announced their boycott, insisting that the inauguration should be done by the President of India rather than Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir also said the construction of a new Parliament building was a dream 30 to 35 years ago, and he had made plans with the then Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao, for its realisation. However, those plans did not come to fruition.
"It's good that someone has taken the initiative...the opposition should appreciate it instead of boycotting!" Azad told news agency ANI.
Regarding the expanded space in the new Parliament building, Azad said, “The Parliament building has also been designed with wider space, which is useful because the membership has increased fivefold since 1926. The present Parliament lacks sufficient space, so a new Parliament was much needed.”
Speaking on the controversy over Modi inaugurating the Parliament building, Azad said, “I am against this argument! The president is also from the ruling party and has been chosen from their MLAs. If the Opposition wants to support the current president, why did they field their own candidate against the BJP's candidate during the presidential elections?”
Azad said the Opposition should focus on different topics to oppose the ruling party, highlighting broader issues that are beneficial to the public.
New Parliament building inauguration on Sunday by PM Modi
Modi, accompanied by the Lok Sabha Speaker, is set to inaugurate the new Parliament building on Sunday.
Amid the boycott call by the Opposition, the central government has received a confirmed participation list from 25 political parties, including some not affiliated with the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), for the inauguration ceremony.
A notable highlight of the event will be the installation of a historic golden sceptre known as Sengol, near the Speaker's seat. Sengol represents India's independence, sovereignty, cultural heritage, and diversity.
In a significant decision, Modi has chosen to adopt the Sengol as a national symbol of the Amrit Kaal. The momentous occasion will take place within the new Parliament building, where Adheenam (Priests) will conduct the ceremony, vesting the Prime Minister with the symbolic Sengol.