Congress’ leader in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Wednesday claimed that the words “socialist” and “secular” were missing from the preamble in the copies of the Constitution distributed to the MPs in the new Parliament building, ANI reported
“When I was reading it, I couldn’t find these two words,” Chowdhury told reporters. “I added them on my own...I also showed it to Rahul Gandhi...It was amended in 1976, so why shouldn’t we get it today? Why do we do amendments? This shows the deliberate attempt to change our Constitution.”
The two words in the preamble were not part of the Constitution adopted in 1950 and were added in 1976 through the 42nd Constitutional amendment.
Chowdhury said it was a matter of concern that the words were missing and raised questions about the intentions of the Bharatiya Janata Party government. “It has been done cleverly,” the MP said. “It is a matter of concern for me. I tried to raise this issue but I did not get an opportunity to raise it.”
On being questioned on the matter, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal said that copies of the Constitution adopted in 1950 had been distributed among the MPs.
“When the Constitution was drafted, it was like this...An amendment was made later...Our spokesperson has responded to this matter already.”
The BJP has made attempts in the past to drop the two words from the preamble. In 2020, the party’s MP Rakesh Sinha had moved a resolution in Rajya Sabha to delete “socialist” from the preamble of the Constitution, The Indian Express reported.
“You cannot tie a generation to a particular way of thinking,” he had said then. “Besides, the Congress party which ruled the country for seven decades has changed its direction from being socialist to welfare to neo-liberalism. Its new liberal policies adopted in the 1990s have negated its own earlier positions.”
Subramanian Swamy has also filed a plea in the Supreme Court that seeks to delete “secular” and “socialist” from the preamble.
In 2015, a controversy had erupted after government advertisements on the Republic Day had omitted “socialist” and “secular” from the preamble.