‘PM Modi and LS Speaker should discuss inviting President,’ suggests Ashok Gehlot amid new Parliament opening controversy

Ashok Gehlot, New Parliament opening
File image of Ashok Gehlot

Rajasthan chief minister and senior Congress leader Ashok Gehlot suggested that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla meet and decide whether to invite President Droupadi Murmu to the inauguration of the Parliament building, adding that it is’still not too late’ to correct any’mistakes’ made by the Centre.

The chief minister stated that facilities such as the new Parliament are only built once every almost 100 years, and that the’sudden’ announcement of the inauguration was not done with decorum.

“What was the emergency (that prompted the inauguration)?” The announcement should have come months before the inauguration. The occasion would have been attended by all governors, chief ministers, and dignitaries,” he continued.

He also endorsed the opposition parties’ united boycott of the inaugural event.

PM Modi will dedicate the new Parliament building on May 28. Following the announcement, the opposition parties questioned the viability of a Prime Minister unveiling the new building rather than the President. They argued that President Droupadi Murmu should do the honours because she is an essential member of Parliament.

The governing BJP and opposition parties engaged in a verbal spat, with Congress leader Shashi Tharoor criticising Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri’s argument of alleged precedence.

“If your head of government can dedicate the Parliament Annex and Library, why can’t the head of government this time?” “It’s as easy as that,” Puri explained. To which Tharoor responded that those were secondary structures, and that Prime Minister Modi will be inaugurating a “whole new Parliament” called and prorogued by the President of India.

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel shared Tharoor’s sentiments, emphasising the distinction between inaugurating a piece of a structure and a whole Parliament.

“During the British era, the Parliament was built.” Rashtrapati Bhavan was also established during the British era, therefore Indira Gandhi could not have inaugurated it. It is a different story if someone dedicates a piece of a structure.

“The President should dedicate the new Parliament building,” CM Baghel remarked.