New Parliament building inauguration: Asaduddin Owaisi slams RJD's coffin post, questions party's secular ideology
New Delhi: Amid a boycott of the historic inauguration of the new Parliament building by 20 Opposition parties, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi has slammed the Lalu Yadav-led Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) for comparing its shape with that of a coffin.
While maintaining his stance that the Lok Sabha Speaker should have opened the new Parliament building, Owaisi said RJD should have used some other angle to criticise the event.
"RJD has no stand, the old Parliament building did not even have clearance from Delhi Fire Service. Why are they (RJD) calling the Parliament a coffin? They could have said anything else, why do they need to bring this angle?" Owaisi told news agency ANI.
Owaisi accused RJD of feigning secularism as it joined forces with Nitish Kumar’s JD (U), a former ally of the BJP.
He said a new Parliament building was needed as the old British-era structure was no longer in good shape. Owaisi referred to an incident where a chunk of the ceiling fell on the late Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav while he was having lunch at his party office in the old Parliament building.
RJD has drawn flak for its coffin tweet, with many calling it offensive.
BJP has strongly criticised the Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav’s party for the post and demanded that those who tweeted the comparison be charged with treason.
Sushil Kumar Modi, Rajya Sabha MP and former Bihar Deputy Chief Minister told news agency ANI that the representatives of all the political parties, who boycotted the inauguration, will be attending parliament proceedings in the new building.
He asked if those parties have permanently boycotted parliament. “Will their MPs resign from Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha?"
"What can be more unfortunate than this? They have no brains. This new parliament building has been built with public money,” said Sushil Kumar Modi on RJD’s tweet.
"They have used a coffin's picture. What can be more disrespectful? It shows the political party's cheap mindset. This is an auspicious day, a day of pride for the country when a new parliament is being dedicated to the nation. And it is being compared to a coffin. That's the photo they have tweeted. A case of sedition must be registered against such people," said Sushil Kumar Modi.
In a savage response to RJD’s tweet, BJP spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia said, "People of the country will bury you in the same coffin in 2024 and will not give you the opportunity to enter the new temple of democracy. It is decided that the parliament building belongs to the country and the coffin to you."
However, the RJD said that the coffin in its post is “a representation of democracy being buried”.
RJD's Shakti Singh Yadav said, “Parliament is the temple of democracy, a place for dialogue” and accused the PM Modi-led government at the Centre of taking the inauguration of the new Parliament building in a different direction.
RJD is one of the 20 political parties that have boycotted the grand opening of the new Parliament premises, objecting to Prime Minister Narendra Modi from inaugurating the new building.
The Opposition has repeatedly accused PM Modi of using the construction and inauguration of the new Parliament building as an opportunity to raise his popularity ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
"Prime Minister Modi's decision to inaugurate the new parliament building by himself, completely sidelining President (Droupadi) Murmu, is not only a grave insult but a direct assault on our democracy... 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," they said in a statement.
Meanwhile, a section of the experts has stated that the Constitution does not mention who should or should not inaugurate government buildings, adding that the Supreme Court, which is the custodian of the Constitution and responsible for interpreting it, also refused to entertain Public Interest Litigations (PIL) to stop PM Modi from opening the new Parliament building.