Stressing the importance of dialogue in Parliament-related activities, Nationalist Congress Party president Sharad Pawar on Tuesday said the decision on the new Parliament building could have been taken through talks with political parties.
The senior NCP leader was speaking in a ‘Sauhard Baithak’ (meeting to foster amity) at Mahatma Gandhi Mission University in Maharashtra’s Aurangabad.
There has been a general decline in engaging in dialogue for parliamentary activities, he said. Earlier too, he said, political parties had differences but they tried to resolve them through dialogue.
“I didn’t understand why there was a need for a new Parliament building. The decision about it could have been taken through dialogue (with political parties). But I learnt about the new building through newspapers,” he said.
As many as 20 Opposition parties stayed away from the inauguration of the new Parliament building which was done by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 28. The Congress accused the PM of treating the inauguration like a “coronation”.
Without naming anyone, Mr Pawar said, “Key persons from the government do not regularly attend Parliament sessions. If the head of the government comes to Parliament someday, that day feels different. Parliament is above all. If importance is not given to it, people’s perception (of it) also gets impacted.”
Calling himself the leader of a “small” political party in Parliament, Mr Pawar said, “We (opposition) demanded to invite the President for the inaugural ceremony of the new Parliament building. There was no need to oppose it (by ruling BJP). A photograph clicked after the first session of Parliament had many leaders of the country, including Dr B R Ambedkar and Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru,” Mr Pawar said.
The Opposition parties boycotted the event accusing the BJP-led Centre of sidelining President Droupadi Murmu. They insisted that the inauguration be done by President Murmu as she is the constitutional head of the country.
Mr Pawar also alleged that elected leaders didn’t get the chance to enter the new building first. He said, “The first photo of the new Parliament building that came out was not with the elected members but with people who were wearing saffron clothes.”
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)