New Parliament inauguration: These parties will attend amid opposition's boycott
Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party (YSRCP) have announced that they will attend the inauguration of the new Parliament building scheduled to be inaugurated by PM Narendra Modi on Sunday. Amid boycott calls from various opposition parties, including the Congress, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), and Trinamool Congress (TMC), both BJD and YSRCP invoked "democracy" to justify their decision to participate.
Why does this story matter?
- The new Parliament's inauguration has become the latest flashpoint between the opposition and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
- Opposition parties contend that the president—who is the highest constitutional authority—should inaugurate it.
- However, the BJP maintains that the president is not a member of either House.
- The opposition has also questioned the inauguration date as it coincides with Hindutva ideologue Vinayak Damodar Savarkar's birthday.
'Constitutional institutions above any issue': BJD spokesperson Lenin Mohanty
In a letter, BJD Spokesperson Lenin Mohanty announced the party's plan to attend the new Parliament's inaugural ceremony, saying, " BJD believes that these constitutional institutions should be above any issue that may affect their sanctity and honor." "Such issues can always be discussed in the august house (sic)," the letter read. Notably, the party has 12 Lok Sabha members and eight Rajya Sabha members.
'Both president and parliament symbols of Indian democracy': Mohanty
"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 further read.
BJD president meets PM Modi, rejects opposition's third front
The BJD's declaration comes barely two weeks after its president and Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik met with PM Modi in New Delhi and reportedly sought the central government's support for the Jagannath International Airport. Patnaik had also reiterated his party's position that it would contest elections alone and that he did not foresee the prospect of a third front.
Inauguration 'historic', will attend in true spirit of democracy: YSRCP
Meanwhile, YSRCP leader and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy also confirmed on Wednesday that his party will attend the May 28 opening of the new Parliament building. Reddy described the ceremony as historic, saying the YSRCP will attend in the "true spirit of democracy," and complimented PM Modi for dedicating the grand, majestic and spacious Parliament building to the country,
YSCRP President Reddy's subtle support for Centre
Reportedly, the Centre recently approved a large influx of funds to Andhra Pradesh since the state's split in June 2014. Also, CM Reddy has mostly remained a subtle supporter of the Centre's policies, joining the opposition only in a few instances.
Know other parties attending Sunday's event
Other parties attending the ceremony include the Shiromani Akali Dal, Telugu Desam Party, Shiv Sena (Shinde), All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, National People's Party, and Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party. Sikkim Krantikari Morcha, Mizo National Front, Jananayak Janata Party, Rashtriya Lok Janshakti Party, Republican Party of India, India Makkal Kalvi Munnetra Kazhagam, and Tamil Maanila Congress are also attending the event, among others.
19 opposition parties to boycott inauguration of new Parliament building
At least 19 opposition parties, including Congress, are boycotting the opening of the new Parliament building. They announced the decision in a joint statement on Wednesday. "Prime Minister Modi's decision to inaugurate the new Parliament building by himself, completely sidelining President Murmu, is not only a grave insult but a direct assault on our democracy which demands a commensurate response," read the statement.
Know about Sunday's Parliament building inauguration
During the inauguration ceremony on Sunday, Prime Minister Modi and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla will dedicate the new Parliament building to the country. Invitations have reportedly been given to MPs in both Houses in digital and physical formats. According to reports, all state and union territory chief ministers, as well as secretaries of all central government ministries, have been invited.