New Parliament building’s architecture killed democracy, conversations: Congress

NEW DELHI: The Congress on Saturday attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the architecture of the new Parliament building alleging that it has killed democracy and conversations, a charge the BJP said is an insult to aspirations of 140 crore Indians.

Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh alleged that the new Parliament building realises the Prime Minister's objectives and should be called a "Modi Multiplex or Modi Marriot". "Perhaps a better use for the new Parliament building will be found after regime change in 2024," Ramesh claimed in a post on X.

"The new Parliament building launched with so much hype actually realises the PM's objectives very well. It should be called the Modi Multiplex or Modi Marriot. After four days, what I saw was the death of confabulations and conversations both inside the two Houses and in the lobbies. If architecture can kill democracy, the PM has already succeeded even without rewriting the Constitution," Ramesh said.

Hitting back, BJP president J P Nadda said, "Even by the lowest standards of the Congress Party, this is a pathetic mindset. This is nothing but an insult to the aspirations of 140 crore Indians." "In any case, this isn't the first time Congress is anti-Parliament. They tried in 1975 and it failed miserably," Nadda also said on X.

Ramesh also alleged that binoculars are needed to see each other since the halls are simply not cozy or compact. "The old Parliament building not only had a certain aura but it facilitated conversations. It was easy to walk between Houses, the Central Hall, and the corridors. This new one weakens the bonding needed to make the running of Parliament a success," he claimed.

The Congress leader said quick coordination between the two Houses is now exceedingly cumbersome. "In the old building, if you were lost, you would find your way back again since it was circular. In the new building, if you lose your way, you are lost in a maze. The old building gave you a sense of space and openness while the new one is almost claustrophobic.

"The sheer joy of simply hanging out in Parliament has disappeared. I used to look forward to going to the old building. The new complex is painful and agonising. I am sure many of my colleagues across party lines feel the same," he said.

Ramesh claimed that he has also heard from the staff in the Secretariat that the design of the new building has not considered the various functionalities required to help them do their work. "This is what happens when no consultations are done with the people who will use the building," he said.

The new Parliament building built during the Covid time was made operational on September 19, on the occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi, during the special session that saw the unanimous passage of the women's reservation bill.


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