Opposition parties criticised the Bharatiya Janata Party government after the Rajya Sabha chairman, the Lok Sabha speaker and senior ministers did not attend an event at the Parliament to mark the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru on Sunday.

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla and Rajya Speaker and Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu are both MPs of the Bharatiya Janata Party.

“Extraordinary scene today in Parliament at the traditional function to mark the birth anniversary of those whose portraits adorn the Central Hall,” tweeted Congress leader Jairam Ramesh. “Speaker Lok Sabha absent. Chairman Rajya Sabha absent. Not a single minister present. Can it get more atrocious than this?!”

Replying to Ramesh’s tweet, Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’Brien said that nothing surprises him anymore. “This dispensation is destroying India’s great institutions, including Parliament one day at a time,” he added.

Nehru was born on November 14, 1889 and was India’s first prime minister. On his birth anniversary, floral tributes are paid to his portrait in the Central Hall of the Parliament every year, reported NDTV.

Sunday’s event was attended by Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and several other MPs. BJP leader and Minister of State in Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Bhanu Pratap Singh Verma was also present.

Meanwhile, several politicians paid tribute to Nehru on his birth anniversary.