BENGALURU/LUCKNOW: Although 20-odd opposition parties have decided to boycott the inauguration of the Parliament building in New Delhi on May 28, former prime minister and JDS supremo HD Deve Gowda has decided to attend the event, which will also be attended by leaders of some other non-BJP parties, including Shiromani Akali Dal, Yuvajana Shramika Rythu Congress Party of Jagan Mohan Reddy, Telugu Desam Party, AIADMK and Naveen Patnaik-led Biju Janata Dal.
While the attendance of Gowda and other non-BJP leaders goes against the opposition boycott, the inauguration by PM Narendra Modi has received support from Bahujan Samaj Party chief and former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati, who has termed the stand of boycotting the event as “unfair” and congratulated Modi.
Mayawati terms Oppn boycott ‘unfair’
After attending a JDS meeting to assess reasons for its poor performance in the state Assembly polls, Gowda told reporters, “I will attend the Parliament building inauguration ceremony. Is it a BJP or RSS office that I should not go for it?” He termed the new Parliament building an asset of the country and not an issue of any individual. The magnificent structure has been built with taxpayers’ money and it belongs to the country, he said, adding that it is not a BJP or RSS office. “I will attend the inaugural ceremony as a former PM and as a citizen of India,” he said. Gowda said he had many reasons to oppose BJP politically, but he would not like to bring politics to the inauguration of the Parliament building.
He said that he has been a member of both houses of Parliament and always worked within the framework of the Constitution and would not like to bring politics into it. “I am committed to the Constitution and that is the reason I am attending the ceremony,” Gowda said responding to a question.
The opposition parties have accused Modi of sidelining President Droupadi Murmu and termed it an assault on democracy and the Constitution. Gowda enjoys a good rapport with Modi as well as senior leaders from Congress and other Opposition parties. In the recent Assembly polls, JDS fought against BJP and Congress.
Meanwhile, Mayawati termed the Opposition boycott of the event as “unfair”. She said the Centre has the right to unveil it as it has built it. Taking to Twitter on Thursday, the BSP chief said, “Whether it was the Congress party’s government at the Centre or now the BJP’s, the BSP has always extended its support to them over issues related to the country and public interest, rising above party politics.
Viewing the inauguration of the new Parliament building in the same context, the party welcomes it.” However, while expressing her gratitude for being invited by the Centre to the programme and extending her “best wishes for its success”, she expressed her inability to attend the event owing to her “pre-scheduled engagements regarding the continuous review meetings of the party.”