The Congress and 13 other Opposition parties on Friday boycotted an event at the Parliament’s Central Hall to mark the Constitution Day, which commemorates the day it was adopted in 1949, NDTV reported.
Congress MP Manickam Tagore said that the Bharatiya Janata Party does not govern according to the Constitution of India, but wants to celebrate the day it was adopted.
“This is a PR [public relations] event that they [the BJP] started in 2019,” Tagore told NDTV.
Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, the leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha, also criticised the Centre. “This government does not believe in democracy,” he said, according to The Indian Express. “They are hell-bent on dismantling each and every institution of democratic India.”
Chowdhury said that Mallikarjun Kharge, the leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, was not invited to speak at the event.
He said that the position of the Leader of the Opposition “is also an institution”, adding that the government does not respect the office.
The event came three days before the beginning of the Winter Session of the Parliament.
On Thursday, the Congress held a Parliament Strategy Group meeting to discuss the matters it wants to raise during the session.
After the meeting Kharge spoke to other Opposition parties, who have agreed to put up a united front in the Parliament session, NDTV reported, quoting unidentified Congress leaders.
“We have decided that we will raise a range of issues in the Parliament, including inflation, prices of petrol and diesel, Chinese aggression and the issue of Jammu and Kashmir,” Kharge said, according to ANI.
The Congress will also bring up the three farm laws and ask the government to provide the farmers a legal guarantee of minimum support price for their crops, The Indian Express reported. The minimum support price is the guaranteed amount paid to farmers when the government buys their produce.
‘Dynastic parties’ matter of great concern: Narendra Modi
During the event, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the guests. “Constitution Day is the day to salute this House, where many of India’s leaders brainstormed to give us the Constitution of India,” the prime minister said, according to ANI.
The prime minister also took a dig at the Congress, saying that “dynastic parties” were a matter of great concern for people who want to protect the Constitution. He added that if every generation of one family runs a political party then that “becomes a threat for democracy”.
“Party for the family, by the family... do I need to say more?” he said, according to NDTV. “If a party is run by one family for many generations, then, it is not good for a healthy democracy...look at the political parties from Kashmir to Kanyakumari.