New Parliament inaugural: Plea in SC seeks invite to Prez; JDS, BSP to attend event

The petition says the respondents--the Lok Sabha secretariat and the Union of India--are "humiliating" the president by not inviting her for the inauguration. Photo: PTI

New Delhi: Amid the heated debates on the inaugration of the new parliament building, a PIL was filed in the Supreme Court on Thursday seeking a direction to the Lok Sabha secretariat for inauguration of the building by President Droupadi Murmu, who is the "first citizen of India and the head of the institution". The petition says the respondents -- the Lok Sabha secretariat and the Union of India -- are "humiliating" the president by not inviting her for the inauguration.

The petition by an apex court lawyer comes amid a massive controversy over the scheduled inauguration of the new Parliament building by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 28.

As many as 25 parties are expected to attend the inauguration of the new Parliament building by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday even as 20 Opposition parties have decided to boycott the event.

Apart from the 18 members of the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA), including the BJP, seven non-NDA parties will attend the ceremony, going by their stated position on the issue which has snowballed into another political flashpoint between the ruling and opposition camps.

The BSP, Shiromani Akali Dal, Janata Dal (Secular), Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas), YSR Congress, BJD and TDP are the seven non-NDA parties expected to be present at the event.

The presence of these seven parties, which together account for 50 MPs in the Lok Sabha, will be a major relief for the BJP-led NDA. Their participation will help the NDA blunt the Opposition's charge that it is all a government event.

Besides the BJP, the 18 NDA members include Shiv Sena, National People's Party, Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party, Sikkim Krantikari Morcha, Jannayak Janata Party, AIDMK, IMKMK, AJSU, RPI, Mizo National Front, Tamil Maanila Congress, ITFT (Tripura), Bodo People's Party, Pattali Makkal Kacchi, MGP, Apna Dal and AGP, alliance leaders said.

20 opposition parties to boycott ceremony
Some 20 opposition parties have decided to boycott the ceremony to protest the "sidelining" of the President.

In a joint statement on Wednesday, 19 political parties said, "When the soul of democracy has been sucked out of Parliament, we find no value in a new building."

The BJP-led NDA shot back, condemning the "contemptuous" decision.

"This act is not merely disrespectful; it is a blatant affront to the democratic ethos and constitutional values of our great nation," parties belonging to the ruling NDA said in a statement on Wednesday.

All India Adivasi Congress calls for nationwide protest
Meanwhile, The All India Adivasi Congress on Thursday accused the Modi government of "insulting" tribals by not getting the country's first tribal president Droupadi Murmu to inaugurate the new Parliament building, as it announced a nationwide protest against the move on May 26.

Addressing a press conference at the AICC headquarters here, All India Adivasi Congress chief Shivajirao Moghe said Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurating the new Parliament building rather than the president is an "insult" to democracy.

"For the first time a tribal is the president, we have a woman president. This (inauguration by the PM) is an insult to tribals and women. The President is an important part of Parliament as it is the president that addresses the joint session of Parliament. It is the President who should inaugurate Parliament," Moghe said.

"I don't know whether this is happening because we are tribals," said the chief of All India Adivasi Congress department under the Indian National Congress.

(with PTI inputs)

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