19 national and regional opposition parties have decided to boycott the inauguration of the new Parliament building by Prime Minister Modi on 28 May. In a joint statement, Opposition parties said, “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 added, “When the soul of democracy has been sucked out from the Parliament, 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 signatories to the joint statement are the Indian National Congress, Trinamool Congress, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), Janata Dal (United), Aam Aadmi Party, Nationalist Congress Party, Shiv Sena (UBT), Communist Party of India (Marxist), Samajwadi Party, Rashtriya Janata Dal, Communist Party of India, Indian Union Muslim League, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, National Conference, Kerala Congress (Mani), Revolutionary Socialist Party, Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi, Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, and Rashtriya Lok Dal.

Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge and party General Secretary (organization) K.C. Venugopal had reached out to other Opposition leaders to get their sense and conveyed their reservations about Prime Minister inaugurating the building and not the President. An Opposition MP said MPs got invites for the function on Tuesday on WhatsApp. “Perhaps they the government] will send in a formal invite. But surely they could have done better.”  

Some of the politicians have also criticized scheduling the event on the birth anniversary of VD Savarkar, the Hindutva ideologue who shared views radically divergent from Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the nation.


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