'Insult to democracy': More opposition parties to boycott Parliament building opening

19 parties, including RJD, NCP, DMK and Congress, will stay away from the event

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inspects the construction work of the new Parliament building | PTI Interior of the new Parliament building which will be inaugurated on May 28 | PTI

Joining the list of major political parties that will stay away from the new Parliament building inauguration are the Indian National Congress, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Nationalist Congress Party (NC) and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK). The Trinamool Congress, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Communist Party of India (CPI) have already announced the boycott of the event. 

This comes a day after the opposition parties demanded that the new building be inaugurated by President Droupadi Murmu instead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

A statement issued by 'like-minded opposition parties' said the collective decision to boycott the inauguration of the new Parliament building was made as the "soul of democracy has been sucked out from the Parliament." 

While stating their disapproval of the autocratic manner in which the new Parliament was built, the opposition parties said they were open to sinking their differences. "However, 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," the statement said. 

"We find no value in a new building. We announce our collective decision to boycott the inauguration of the new Parliament building. We will continue to fight — in letter, in spirit, and in substance — against this authoritarian Prime Minister and his government, and take our message directly to the people of India," the statement added.

The statement added that the President is not only the Head of State in India but also an integral part of the Parliament. "She summons, prorogues, and addresses the Parliament. She must assent for an Act of Parliament to take effect. In short, the Parliament cannot function without the President. Yet, the Prime Minister has decided to inaugurate the new Parliament building without her. This undignified act insults the high office of the President and violates the letter and spirit of the Constitution. It undermines the spirit of inclusion which saw the nation celebrate its first woman Adivasi President," the statement added.

Besides the above-mentioned parties, the Shiv Sena (UBT), Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), National Conference (NC), Samajwadi Party (SP), Janata Dal (United), Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Rashtriya Lok Dal too announced their decision to stay away from the event. 

On Tuesday, the TMC, the CPI and the AAP announced they will skip the inauguration ceremony.

However, few other political parties like Telangana's ruling BRS and Sukhbir Singh Badal’s Shiromani Akali Dal are yet to decide. Andhra Pradesh's ruling party Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party (YSRCP) too hasn't made its stance clear.

BRS MP K Keshava Rao said, "We have not taken any decision yet. It is unlikely that we will attend but we’ll announce our decision on Thursday."

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the new building on Sunday.

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