New Parliament row: PIL in SC seeks inauguration by President
A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has been filed in the Supreme Court on Thursday for President Droupadi Murmu to inaugurate the new Parliament building instead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The plea said that the Lok Sabha Secretariat violated the Constitution by not inviting President Murmu for the inauguration. Opposition parties have also cornered the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over the matter.
Why does this story matter?
- The inauguration of the new Parliament building has been embroiled in controversies, with the Congress calling it PM Modi's "personal vanity project."
- The opposition accused the BJP of insulting the President—the highest Constitutional authority—while the BJP insists "the President is not a member of either House."
- Around 20 opposition parties have decided to boycott the inauguration scheduled on Sunday.
Ex-President not invited to foundation laying ceremony: Congress
Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla met PM Modi last week and invited him to inaugurate the new Parliament. Soon after, Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge said the BJP government didn't invite former President Ram Nath Kovind to the foundation-laying ceremony of the building, and now President Murmu hasn't been invited for its inauguration. In response, the BJP claimed that the Congress was creating unnecessary controversy.
Article 79 of Constitution established President as highest authority: Congress
The Congress cited Article 79 of the Constitution to refute the BJP's argument that the PM is the head of government and leads Parliament on its behalf. "There shall be a Parliament for the Union which shall consist of the President and two Houses to be known respectively as the Council of States and the House of the People," the article reads.
Lack of space cited as reason for new building
Reportedly, a Lok Sabha release cited a lack of space for the construction of the new Parliament building. "In both the Houses, there was also a lack of convenient arrangements for the sitting of the MPs which was affecting the efficiency of the work of the members," it said. The construction of the current Parliament building was completed in 1927.