Rama Krishna Sangem
Yes, President Draupadi Murmur can break her silence and speak on the raging controversy of Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurating the new Parliament building tomorrow – May 28, Sunday. The Opposition camp, that includes over 21 parties have been objecting to the government not inviting the President to do the honors – opening the parliament building- instead through the hands of the PM Modi. They are boycotting the inauguration.
Suprem Court has dismissed a petition on the issue, seeking the inauguration by the President, on May 26, Friday. So, the decks have been cleared for the inauguration by the PM. The job of defending the government has been taken up by ruling BJP. The party quoted many instances of former PMs – Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi – inaugurating Parliament annexes or library complexes, if not the present building itself as it was built much before Independence.
So far, only BSP chief Mayawati justified PM Modi opening the new parliament on the ground that it is the prerogative of the government of the day to decide who to do the job. People of the country are eagerly waiting to know the mind of President Murmu – how she feels about the whole controversy. She will be addressing a meeting to be held in the new building on May 28, but will it be an occasion to talk about the issue? Maybe yes, maybe no.
Why not Prez Murmu open up on the issue?
The President has every right and reason to talk about the controversy generated by the Opposition. The Opposition is mentioning three factors of her – the president, as part of Parliament under Article 79 of the Constitution, as a woman and an Adivasi. So, President Murmu is the only competent person to clear the controversy. If she speaks up, the entire nation will listen.
Of course, she may justify PM Modi opening the new building. But we all would like to hear it from her. The grounds on which she supports the government on this issue. A major reason for urging her to speak is simple – in this day of digital era and flood of communication, the President of India need not be silent on an important issue. A new parliament building will not be inaugurated frequently, it is a once in a century event.
We need not wait for some journalist or a historian or a biographer in future to tell us about what President Murmu felt about the parliament building inauguration issue, down the line 15-20 years. When Rashtrapathi Bhavan is active in open communication and transparency, there’s nothing wrong in informing public how the President of India thinks about the issue.
Even PM Modi or the PMO too can make public on whether they have informed the President about the inauguration of the new parliament building. Rajya Sabha chairman Jadeep Dhankar and Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla can release minutes the meeting where it was decided that PM Modi would open the new parliament building. The issue should not be limited to just a slug-fest between BJP and the Opposition parties.