Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge on Monday alleged that the Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre has reduced the president’s office to tokenism.

Kharge’s comments came after the Lok Sabha secretariat said that the prime minister will inaugurate the new Parliament building on May 28, which also marks the birth anniversary of Hindutva ideologue VD Savarkar.

“It looks like the Modi government has ensured election of President of India from the Dalit and the Tribal communities only for electoral reasons,” Kharge tweeted on Monday. “While Former President, Shri [Ram Nath] Kovind was not invited for the New Parliament foundation laying ceremony the President of India Smt. Droupadi Murmu is not being invited for the inauguration of the new Parliament Building.”

The Congress chief said that if Murmu had inaugurated the new Parliament building, it would have symbolised the government’s commitment to democratic values and constitutional propriety.

Kharge’s comments came a day after Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had said that the inauguration of the new Parliament building should be done by the president.

The new Parliament building can seat 888 members in the Lok Sabha chamber and 300 in the Rajya Sabha chamber, according to the Lok Sabha Secretariat. In case of a joint sitting of both the Houses, a total of 1,280 members can be accommodated in the Lok Sabha chamber.

The prime minister had laid the foundation stone of the new Parliament building on December 10, 2020.