What was Sonia Gandhi ‘locus standi’ when she inaugurated legislative buildings, questions BJP

New Parliament Building Inauguration on May 28
New Parliament Building Inauguration on May 28

What was Sonia Gandhi's “locus standi” when she and then-Prime Minister Manmohan Singh inaugurated legislative buildings in Manipur and Tamil Nadu, the Bharatiya Janata Party asked on Wednesday in response to the Congress' criticism of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's inauguration of the new Parliament building.
“The hypocrisy of the Congress knows no bounds,” BJP spokesperson Shehzad Poonawalla charged, recalling that former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi inaugurated the Parliament House Annexe and her successor Rajiv Gandhi laid the foundation stone for the Parliament Library building in 1987.
As many as 20 parties, including the Congress, have announced a boycott of the ceremony on May 28, demanding that President Droupadi Murmu perform the inauguration rather than Prime Minister Modi.
In a statement, 19 parties accused the government of “completely sidelining” President Murmu, saying there is no value in a new building when the “soul of democracy has been sucked out.”
The BJP spokesperson claimed that when then-prime minister Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi inaugurated the Assembly building and complex in Manipur in 2011, the Congress had no problem.
“It's fine for PM Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi to inaugurate the Tamil Nadu legislative assembly building complex,” he tweeted.
“What was the locus (standi) of Sonia Gandhi at these inaugurations?” Poonawalla inquired.
Poonawalla announced on Twitter that Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had inaugurated the central hall of the Bihar legislature.
“Were the President and governors insulted in these five instances?” Poonawalla referred to the Congress as the “mother of hypocrisy.”
The Congress, Trinamool Congress, Samajwadi Party, and Aam Aadmi Party are among the parties that have announced a boycott of the new Parliament building's inauguration.
“Despite our belief that the government is threatening democracy, and our disapproval of the autocratic manner in which the new Parliament was built,” the 19 parties said in a joint statement, “we were open to sinking our differences and marking this occasion.”
However, they stated that Prime Minister Modi's decision to inaugurate the new Parliament building alone, “completely sidelining President Droupadi Murmu, is not only a grave insult but a direct assault on our democracy that demands a commensurate response.”
The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, Janata Dal-United, Communist Party of -Marxist, CPI, Nationalist Congress Party, Shiv Sena (UBT), Rashtriya Janata Dal, Indian Union Muslim League, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, National Conference, Kerala Congress-M, Revolutionary Socialist Party, Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi, Marumalarchi DMK and Rashtriya Lok Dal are the other signatories of the joint statement.
Asaduddin Owaisi, a Lok Sabha MP from Hyderabad and the leader of the All India Majlis e Ittehadul Muslimeen, has announced that his party will also boycott the ceremony.
Himanta Biswa Sarma, Chief Minister of Assam, claimed that it was all “drama” because these parties had never supported the project.
He also claimed that another reason for the boycott is that the inauguration will take place on a day “associated with Veer Savarkar.”
“The boycott is unmistakable. “They were initially opposed to the construction of the Parliament building,” Sarma told reporters in Guwahati.
The BJP leader claimed that the Opposition had never expected the construction of the new Parliament House to be completed so quickly, and that it came as a “bouncer” to them.
“So, in order to save face, they are staging a boycott drama.” But the point is, they never supported the project from the beginning… We never expected them to be in the function,” he added.
Pralhad Joshi, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, urged the parties to reconsider their decision to boycott the ceremony.