After 20 Opposition parties announced that they will boycott the new Parliament building inauguration, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday appealed to the political leaders to “re-think” and participate in the inauguration event to be held on May 28.
As many as 20 Opposition parties, including Congress and the AIMIM, have announced that they will “boycott” the ceremony of the new Parliament building, which will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. They demand that it must be inaugurated by the President, who is the highest constitutional authority.
“It is a temple of democracy, even the PM entered the Parliament by bowing on its steps. I humbly request and appeal (to the Opposition), kindly re-think, change your stand and participate in the ceremony,” says Sitharaman, addressing reporters in New Delhi, along with Governors of Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Nagaland.
Speaking about the ‘Sengol’, a historic sceptre from Tamil Nadu, to be placed in the new Parliament building, she said that 20 “aadeenams” (pontiffs) from Tamil Nadu have been invited for the inauguration ceremony. The “aadeenams” will be come from Tiruvavaduthurai, Perur and Madurai, she said.
The ceremonial sceptre, which will be installed in the new Parliament building, was given to Nehru to symbolise the transfer of power from the British to India in August 1947. It was kept in the Nehru Gallery of the Allahabad Museum. Made of silver with a coat of gold with sacred ‘Nandi’ on top, the historical sceptre will be installed near the Chair of the Lok Sabha Speaker.
The finance minister also said TN has a “big proud part” in the episode of handing over the Sengol (sceptre) to the first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, which was done on the advice of the Tiruvavduthurai adheenam after the late CR Rajagopalachary discussed it with the Shaivite pontiff following Nehru’s consultations with him.
“The pontiffs will attend the event, there will be Oduvars (scholars in Shaivite scriptures and hymns) who will recite the Thevaram. In 1947 also the Sengol was handed over to Nehru when othuvargal recited Kolaru Pathigam,” she said, as quoted by PTI.
The Sengol in the new Parliament building will symbolise “governance with justice and without any bias,” she added.
‘Sengol tucked away in Anand Bhavan’: BJP’s Amit Malviya
Meanwhile, the BJP alleged that the Congress displayed disregard for Hindu traditions by calling the sacred ‘Sengol’ a “golden stick gifted” to former prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, and was “tucked away” in a museum.
BJP IT cell head Amit Malviya said in a tweet, “The vesting of the sacred Sengol with Jawaharlal Nehru, on the eve of India’s Independence, was the exact moment of transfer of power from the British to India.”
“But instead of being given the pride of its place, it was tucked away in Anand Bhavan, and called the golden stick gifted to Nehru,” he said in a tweet, adding, “Such is the disdain for Hindu rituals in the Congress”.
Malviya further said, “Prime Minister Modi will now install the Sengol, from 1947, in the Lok Sabha, prominently close to the Speaker’s podium. It will be displayed for the nation to see, and will be taken out on special occasions.”
“It is now Sengol vs Opposition,” he added.