New parliamentary symbol of self-reliance, says Prime Minister Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for a new House of Parliament on Thursday, described the event as a milestone in India’s democratic history, and stated that the building will become the symbol of a 21st century nation and Aatmanirbhar Bharat, or self-sufficient India.
At an event in central Delhi attended by high-ranking ministers, foreign envoys and leading industrialists, Modi performed the opening ceremony of the two-story building amid Vedic chants from 12 priests and interfaith prayer, 93 years later. the iconic circular Parliament House was completed.
Addressing a later meeting, Modi hoped that India would soon be recognized as the “mother democracy” and claimed that Indian democratic traditions predate the Magna Carta, a 13th century English royal charter often considered the forerunner of modern Constitutions. .
“It is a very historic day. Today is a milestone in the democratic history of India … We, the people of India, will build this new Parliament building together, ”Modi said, adding that the building will be an inspiration when India celebrates 75 years of independence. in 2022, the proposed construction completion date.
The prime minister expressed his confidence in the resurgence of a new, self-sufficient India that would not waste an “avalanche of opportunity” and time. Connecting the old building with the proposed one, he said: “If the old Parliament House gave direction to post-independence India, the new building would fulfill the aspirations of India in the 21st century.”
The 64,500 square meter building, the masterpiece of the Rs 20,000 crore Central View project, is proposed to be built at an estimated cost of Rs 971 crore. The earthquake-resistant structure would involve 2,000 workers directly and another 9,000 indirectly.
“I will never be able to forget the moment in my life when I had the opportunity to come to Parliament for the first time in 2014 as an MP. Before intervening, I bowed and greeted this temple of democracy, “said Modi.
Modi praised the importance of the current Parliament, which will continue to function as an auxiliary.
“Here the first government of an independent India was formed and here the first session of Parliament took place, here our Constitution was written, here our democracy was restored. Babasaheb Ambedkar and others, after deep deliberations in the Central Hall, gave us a Constitution, ”said the Prime Minister.
“When India gained independence, there was a lot of apprehension about whether democracy can survive in India given its poor social status, literary levels. Predictions were made that democracy would fail in India. Today, we can proudly say that those apprehensions have been proven wrong. ”
The new building will have the capacity to house more than 1,200 parliamentarians, 55% more seating capacity than the current force.
A new office complex for all MPs will also replace Shram Shakti Bhavan and Transport Bhavan, right next to Parliament. It will also have a large Constitution Hall to showcase India’s democratic heritage, a hall for Members of Parliament, a library, multiple commission rooms, dining rooms, and ample parking space.
The Supreme Court undoubtedly reserved its ruling in November on a batch of petitions challenging the Vista Central project, which also included 11 buildings for 51 central ministries, an underground metro station, chambers for parliamentarians, the office, and the residence. the Prime Minister, and even an arboretum of rare plants behind the Mughal Gardens.
On Monday, the supreme court ordered the Center to immediately halt all construction and ancillary activities in the Vista Central area, but allowed the groundbreaking ceremony to continue.
The opposition criticized the ceremony at a time when tens of thousands of farmers protested the Center’s agricultural laws outside the capital. “The foundations for a new Parliament building were laid on the ruins of a liberal democracy,” said former Finance Minister P Chidambaram. Congress boycotted the event.
At the event, Modi invoked Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, to underline the importance of dialogue and discussion. “Debate and discussion must take place both inside and outside Parliament. Service to the nation must also continue, but it must reflect national service and dedication to the national interest, ”he said.
After the ceremony, Rajya Sabha Vice President Harivansh read messages from President Ram Nath Kovind and Vice President Venkaiah Naidu.
“In order to allow members to fulfill their constitutional obligations in the near future, the current House of Parliament required a restructuring that was not desirable due to the heritage status of the building. As such, a new parliament building was required, ”said Lok Sabha Chairman Om Birla, the custodian of parliament property.
Birla also noted that MPs in both houses had repeatedly expressed the desire for a modern, high-tech Parliament building. The businessman Ratan Tata, whose firm obtained the contract to build the new building, was also present.
The prime minister stressed the importance of different points of view and perspectives in fostering a vibrant democracy. “Democracy in India has always paved the way for resolving differences, as well as providing governance … there is always room for differences as long as it is not completely disconnected from the process.”
The Prime Minister described how MPs would get additional facilities in the new building, but also added that the people’s representatives would be accountable to the public and the Constitution.
“Your dedication, service, conduct, thought, and demeanor will become the life of this temple. Your efforts for the unity and integrity of India will become the energy that will bring this temple to life, ”Modi said.