INDIA.DELHI: Indian PM Narendra Modi unveiled the bronze cast of the National Emblem on top of the new Parliament building in New Delhi on Monday, heralding a major milestone ahead of the building’s scheduled opening for later this year. The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) described the figurine as a 6.5-metre-high bronze statue weighing 9,500 kgs. It has been placed at the top of the central foyer of the building, and a foundational structure made of steel, weighing 6,500 kg has been constructed to support it.
Modi later declared in a tweet, “This morning, I had the honour of unveiling the National Emblem cast on the roof of the new Parliament.” He was joined in the inaugural event by Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh and Urban Development Minister Hardeep Singh Puri. He also attended a religious ceremony at the site.
Modi expressed his great thanks to the “shramjeevis” who participated in the construction of this iconic emblem, noting that “We are proud of their efforts and will always remember their contribution to our nation” in a tweet.
The PM encountered a worker at the site who likened the entire affair to a momentous event in Hindu mythology, the arrival of Lord Ram at Shabri’s hut. Modi replied jovially, “Wah, wah, this is your hut!” He later lauded the worker’s observation and added that every poor person in the country should feel that this is his hut, clarifying that the new Parliament will be a torchbearer for the Nation’s downtrodden.
The concept sketch and casting process were meticulously planned and carried out in a revisionary process where the figure went through eight different stages of preparation from clay modelling and computer graphics to bronze casting and polishing, the PMO also said in a statement.
Amid such an important event, the Opposition parties such as the CPI(M) and the AIMIM criticised the inauguration, citing the event as a “violation” of the Constitution which envisions separation of power between the Executive and the Legislature. AIMIM’s president Asaduddin Owaisi said, “As head of the government, the Prime Minister should not have unveiled the national emblem atop the new Parliament building.”
Firing back at Owaisi, the BJP reiterated the leader’s negative mindset which constantly succumbs to retorting and attacking the country’s political, moral, social, cultural and constitutional values to run his party. BJP spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi said, “He does it habitually” in a press conference.
It did not stop at Owaisi however. Even NCP leader Majeed Memon expressed disbelief at BJP’s refusal to invite key ministers and official dignitaries to the event. However, he did not criticise the PM’s decision, stating “It is his right as he is the tallest leader of the country.”
The CPI(M) General Secretary D Raja condemned the PM’s move, saying that the Parliament belongs to everyone and wondered “How a private event” was organised there.