As many as 25 parties are expected to attend the inauguration of the new Parliament building by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday even as 20 Opposition parties have decided to boycott the event.
Apart from the 18 members of the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA), including the BJP, seven non-NDA parties will attend the ceremony, going by their stated position on the issue which has snowballed into another political flashpoint between the ruling and opposition camps.
The BSP, Shiromani Akali Dal, Janata Dal (Secular), Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas), YSR Congress, BJD and TDP are the seven non-NDA parties expected to be present at the event.
The presence of these seven parties, which together account for 50 MPs in the Lok Sabha, will be a major relief for the BJP-led NDA. Their participation will help the NDA blunt the Opposition’s charge that it is all a government event.
Besides the BJP, the 18 NDA members include Shiv Sena, National People’s Party, Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party, Sikkim Krantikari Morcha, Jannayak Janata Party, AIDMK, IMKMK, AJSU, RPI, Mizo National Front, Tamil Maanila Congress, ITFT (Tripura), Bodo People’s Party, Pattali Makkal Kacchi, MGP, Apna Dal and AGP, alliance leaders said.
Nineteen parties, including the Congress, Left, TMC, SP and AAP, have come together to jointly announce the boycott, saying they find no value in a new building when the “soul of democracy has been sucked out”.
They have also protested the decision that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the building, claiming this was an insult to the highest constitutional office of the President of India.
Separately, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi said if Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla does not inaugurate the new Parliament building, his party would not attend the event.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)