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'Self-glorifying authoritarian' PM inaugurates new Parliament building: Congress

New Delhi: The Congress on Sunday launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi after he inaugurated the new Parliament building, saying a "self-glorifying authoritarian PM with utter disdain for Parliamentary procedures" opened the new complex.

Modi inaugurated the new Parliament building on Sunday morning.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said Parliament is the voice of the people but the prime minister is treating the inauguration of the new building like a "coronation".

"Parliament is the voice of the people! The prime minister is treating the inauguration of the Parliament House as (a) coronation," Gandhi said in a tweet in Hindi soon after Modi inaugurated the building.

Jairam Ramesh, the Congress general secretary, said, "On this day, May 28th: Nehru, the person who did the most to nurture Parliamentary democracy in India, was cremated in 1964. Savarkar, the person whose ideological ecosystem led to the killing of Mahatma Gandhi, was born in 1883." Ramesh also said it is on the same day that President Droupadi Murmu -- the first woman from the tribal community to become president -- is not allowed to perform her Constitutional duties and inaugurate the new Parliament building.

"A self-glorifying authoritarian Prime Minister with utter disdain for Parliamentary procedures, who rarely attends Parliament or engages in it, inaugurates the new Parliament building in 2023," he said.

Ramesh further said fabrication of facts by "distorians" and the drum-beating of the media hit new lows in 2023.

AICC General Secretary (Organisation) KC Venugopal tweeted, "At the foundation stone laying ceremony of the new Parliament building, then Hon'ble President Sh. Ramnath Kovind was kept away from the ceremony. At its inauguration, President Droupadi Murmu has been sidelined." "It is the upper caste, anti-backward mindset of the RSS because of which they are denied the respect that their high constitutional office deserves. Their deliberate exclusion shows PM Modi will use them as tokens for his electoral politics, but will not allow them to be part of such significant and historic occasions," he said. Another Congress leader, Manickam Tagore, said 20 Opposition parties boycotted the inauguration of the new building and the ceremony did not represent the entire Parliament.

Tagore, the party's whip in the Lok Sabha, said chief ministers of several states were also absent during the inauguration function.

"Sorry... Because of One man's ego we have not followed the Constitution of India. President of India should have inaugurated and Prime Minister should have been the Guest of Honour," Tagore said on Twitter.

Pramod Tiwari, the Congress' deputy leader in the Rajya Sabha, said not inviting the president to do the inauguration was an insult to her as well as the tribal community.

The Congress and the BJP have been engaged in a war of words over the history of the Sengol that was installed in the new Parliament on Sunday and the inauguration of the building being done by the prime minister.

Several Opposition parties have boycotted the event contending that the president and not the prime minister should inaugurate the new building. 

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