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Opening of new parliament: Priyanka Chaturvedi says presidential inauguration must take place; beats BJP


Ahead of the opening ceremony of the new parliament building, Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Priyanka Chaturvedi has said it should be inaugurated by President Droupadi Murmu as per protocol. Chaturvedi denounced the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for not asking the president for the opening ceremony. She accused the BJP of “constitutional immorality” and “being blinded by power”.

“The president is the head of the legislature, which is above the head of government i.e. the prime minister of India. The inauguration of the new parliament should be done by the president as per the protocol required. The power-blinded BJP is a source of constitutional immorality,” she said in a tweet.

Congress has also said it is not “constitutionally correct” to exclude the president, who is the “head of parliament,” from the inauguration.

“It is not constitutionally correct to make an important decision on parliament and exclude the Speaker of Parliament, the President of India from the decision making from the laying of the foundation stone, now before the inauguration,” said Congress leader Anand Sharma Monday.

He said Article 79 makes it “crystal clear” that the parliament consists of the president of India, the head of parliament and the two houses.

“First the permanent home the Rajya Sabha, the Council of States, and then the House of the People, the Lok Sabha. Why the Council of States? Because India is a union of states. And the chairman of Rajya Sabha is the number two in the order of precedence, the Honorable Vice President of India,” the congress leader added.

Earlier on Sunday, former MP Rahul Gandhi had said that the president should inaugurate the newly built parliament building and not the prime minister.

“The President should inaugurate the new House of Parliament, not the Prime Minister!” Rahul Gandhi said in a tweet.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the newly built parliament building on May 28.

A release from Lok Sabha said construction of the new parliament building in the national capital has been completed and symbolizes the spirit of self-reliant India.

The foundation stone of the new parliament building was laid by Prime Minister Modi on December 10, 2020.

In view of the future requirements, arrangements have been made for a meeting of 888 members in the Lok Sabha and 384 members in the Rajya Sabha in the newly built parliament building. The joint session of both Houses will be held in Lok Sabha Chamber.

Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.