Fourteen opposition parties – including the Congress and the Trinamool Congress – skipped the Constitution Day event today in the parliament as they present a united front ahead of the start of the winter session next week. Attacking the centre, Congress’s Manickam Tagore said, “This government does not respect the Constitution.”
Congress MP Mallikarjun Kharge spoke to the opposition leaders after the strategy meeting yesterday. All 14 opposition parties are on board to stand united in the winter session of parliament, sources in the party said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Ram Nath Kovind, and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla were in attendance at the event in Central Hall this morning.
In his address, the Prime Minister said, “Constitution Day is the day to salute this House, where many of India’s leaders brainstormed to give us the Constitution of India. We also pay tribute to Mahatma Gandhi and all those who fought during India’s independence struggle.”
“Our Constitution binds our diverse country. It was drafted after many hindrances and united the princely states in the country,” he added.
Earlier today, a senior Trinamool Congress leader – when asked whether his party will attend the Constitution Day events – responded, “Our party MPs will not be attending the function… The opposition is united.”
Shiv Sena, NCP, DMK, RJD, and Left also did not attend the key event ahead of the winter session, which starts Monday.
Congress MP Manickam Tagore told NDTV, “This government – led by the BJP – does not respect the Constitution… They don’t govern as per the Constitution but want to celebrate Constitution Day… This is a PR event that they started in 2019.”
Hitting back, Union Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal said, “The boycott is disrespect to the Constitution of India. This proves that the Congress can only respect leaders from the Nehru family and no other leader, including BR Ambedkar.”
Best wishes to our citizens on Constitution Day.
On this special day, sharing a part of Dr. Ambedkar’s speech
in the Constituent Assembly on 4th November 1948 in which he moved a motion for adoption of the Draft Constitution as settled by the Drafting Committee. pic.twitter.com/pviZNrKsGd
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) November 26, 2021
The Prime Minister, to mark the day, this morning tweeted: “Best wishes to our citizens on Constitution Day. On this special day, sharing a part of Dr. Ambedkar’s speech in the Constituent Assembly on 4th November 1948 in which he moved a motion for the adoption of the Draft Constitution as settled by the Drafting Committee. (sic)”
In the post, he shared a speech by Dr BR Ambedkar, remembered as the “father of Indian Constitution”.