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Business News/ News / India/  Temple of democracy: Modi unveils Parliament complex

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday hailed the new Parliament building as the temple of democracy that embodies the dreams and aspirations of 1.4 billion Indians. The new structure will bear witness to a new dawn of a self-reliant India as it evolves into a developed nation, Modi said, amid a boycott of the event by major Opposition parties.

Modi said that every decision taken within the four walls of the new building would shape the lives of future generations, especially the deprived and disadvantaged.

“There are few moments in every nation’s history that are immortalized. Some dates are like immortal signatures on the face of time, and 28 May 2023 is one such day. The people of India have given themselves a gift for the Amrit Mahotsav," the PM said in an address after inaugurating the new building.

Prime Minister Modi said that the new building, spread over 65,000 sq. metres and housing the Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, a library, and a Constitution Hall, would send out a message about India’s determination and breathe fresh energy into the nation. India is not only a democracy but also the “mother of democracy", he proclaimed.

Referring to the building, Modi said: “This will be a medium for realizing the dreams of the freedom fighters and will witness the sunrise of Aatmnirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India) and see the realization of a Viksit Bharat (developed India)."

Modi said the world is looking at India to set the pace. “When India moves forward, the world moves forward," he said. He also drew out the need to keep moving to accomplish goals and, quoting a shloka, said luck runs out for those who stop moving

However, in a significant show of dissent against Modi’s decision to inaugurate the building, as many as 20 major opposition parties chose to boycott the inauguration of the building. Opposition parties argued that President Droupadi Murmu, India’s highest constitutional authority, should have inaugurated the building, and Modi’s move marginalized her.

However, 25 other parties, including those that are not allies of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, were present.

Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge said democracy does not run from buildings but functions through the voice of the people. “The right to inaugurate the new Parliament was snatched from the President," Kharge said in a Twitter post.

The Congress attacked Modi, saying he was a “self-glorifying authoritarian PM with utter disdain for Parliamentary procedures."

However, in a packed hall of lawmakers, chief ministers, senior politicians, diplomats, judges and special invitees, Modi dubbed the building as an illustration of the coexistence of the ancient and the modern. He urged lawmakers to set new standards and referred to the impact that legislative business conducted over the next 25 years will have on the lives of the poor, the marginalized and the disadvantaged and how it would pave the way for the development of the nation by pulling people out of poverty and empowering the young.

“Every brick, every wall, every particle of this new Parliament House will be dedicated to the welfare of the poor," Modi said.

Reflecting on the past, from the time India was under colonial rule to the time two nations were carved out after Independence, he said after years of slavery and after losing so much, India resumed its journey and reached Amrit Kaal.

AP and PTI contributed to this story.

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Updated: 29 May 2023, 12:15 AM IST
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