The Congress on Thursday stepped up its attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the inauguration of the new Parliament building, saying "one man's ego and desire for self-promotion" has denied the first tribal woman president her constitutional privilege to inaugurate the complex.
Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge alleged that the "arrogance" of the Modi government has "destroyed" the parliamentary system
"Mr. Modi, Parliament is the temple of democracy established by the people. The office of the President is the first part of Parliament. The arrogance of your government has destroyed the parliamentary system," Kharge said in a tweet in Hindi.
"140 crore Indians want to know what do you want to show by taking away the right of the President of India to inaugurate the Parliament House?" the Congress chief said.
The Congress' attack comes a day after as many as 20 opposition parties announced their decision to boycott the inauguration of the new Parliament building by Modi.
Nineteen Opposition parties, including the Congress, Left, TMC, SP and AAP, came together to jointly announce the boycott, saying they find no value in a new building when the "soul of democracy has been sucked out". Separately, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi said if Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla does not inaugurate the new Parliament building, his party would not attend.
In a tweet, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said, "Yesterday, President Draupadi Murmu inaugurated the country's largest judicial campus at the Jharkhand High Court complex in Ranchi. It is one man's ego and desire for self-promotion that has denied the first Adivasi woman President her Constitutional privilege to inaugurate the new Parliament building in New Delhi on May 28th."
"Ashoka the Great, Akbar the Great, Modi the Inaugurate," Ramesh said.
After the Opposition boycott call, the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance had also launched a sharp counterattack, calling the opposition stand a "blatant affront to democratic ethos and constitutional values of our great nation".
The 19 Opposition parties in their joint statement said Prime Minister Modi's decision to inaugurate the new Parliament building by himself, "completely sidelining President Droupadi Murmu, is not only a grave insult but a direct assault on our democracy which demands a commensurate response".