Speaking to reporters in Pune, Pawar said that such steps defeat Jawaharlal Nehru’s idea of modern India and it will set the country back. Over 20 opposition parties, including the NCP, had boycotted the inauguration ceremony .
Pawar said, “I watched the ceremony (on television) for one and a half hours and I felt happy about not attending it. The ceremony was against Nehru’s idea of a modern India. No compromise can be made with science. Nehru always had the vision of making India a modern society based on scientific temperament. However, there was a huge difference between Nehru’s idea of modern India and whatever was being done at the new Parliament building. I feel worried to see if we are taking our country backward by a few years.”
The NCP president also criticized the BJP over the absence President Droupadi Murmu and Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar at the ceremony.
“It was the responsibility of the government to invite both. Any event in Parliament starts with the speech or the presence of the President. Parliament comprises Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. I was happy to see Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla at the event but the absence of the Vice President, who is the chairman of the Rajya Sabha, makes me feel that if the event was only organized for select people.”
On whether he received an invitation to attend, Pawar said, “I do not know if the opposition parties were invited. I personally did not receive any but I do not know if the invitation was sent to my Delhi address.”
Pawar said that no discussion was arranged in Parliament before taking a call for constructing a new building.
He said, “The discussion (about the constructing a new Parliament building) might have happened between a few people, but the government did not feel the need to hold a discussion on such an important issue in Parliament. Other members, including me, did not know about it.”
“The ceremony was about Parliament and it would have been graceful if the entire Parliament, irrespective of the parties were brought together to organize the event,” he added.