Special Session begins at New Parliament
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Special Session begins at New Parliament

September 19, 2023
  • Prime Minister Modi leads MPs into the new ‘Parliament House of India’
  • Old Parliament building to be named ‘Samvidhan Sadan’
  • Women’s Reservation Bill (Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam) first Bill to be tabled

New Delhi: Parliament proceedings shifted to the new building today after the Lok Sabha Secretariat designating the new building as the ‘Parliament House of India’. Led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, several MPs walked from the old building to new Parliament complex.

On Monday (Sept. 18), the Session began with Modi opening the discussion on the parliamentary journey.

MPs across the political spectrum listed the many achievements of the Parliament, with most pitching for greater representation for women.

Followed by a function organised at the Central Hall to bid farewell to the old Parliament building, proceedings of the second day (today) of the Special Session resumed at 1.15 pm in the Lok Sabha, while the Rajya Sabha reconvened at 2.15 pm. Earlier, parliamentarians gathered outside the old building for a group photograph.

The old Parliament building will be called “Samvidhan Sadan (Constitution House),” Modi announced today in his last speech from the old building. “Today, we are taking leave from here and heading to the new Parliament building. This is auspicious as today is Ganesh Chaturthi,” the PM said, turned towards the Speakers of both Houses seated beside him, and made a request.

“I appeal to you, and I hope you will consider it after deliberation. Now that we are going there (the new parliament building), the glory of this House should never decline. We shouldn’t just call it the ‘old parliament’. I request, if both of you permit, that this building should be known as ‘Samvidhan Sadan’ so that it always serves as an inspiration for us. When we call it ‘Samvidhan Sadan’, the memories of those great people who once sat here in the Constituent Assembly get linked to it. We shouldn’t let go of this opportunity to offer this gift to the coming generations,” PM Modi said.

PM Modi paid rich tributes to the country’s democratic traditions and recalled contributions of all former Prime Ministers —Jawahar Lal Nehru, Lal Bahadur Shastri to Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Dr. Manmohan Singh — and said the colonial-era premises will remain a “source of inspiration” and “place of pilgrimage” for all times to come.

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India will have to “work on a larger canvas” and all laws that will be made and all debates in Parliament must be aimed at encouraging Indian aspirations.

“If we cannot enlarge the canvas of our thinking, we will not be able to paint a picture of a grand India,” the Prime Minister said.

“…In the 25 years of Amrit Kaal, India will have to work on a larger canvas. The time for us to get caught up in smaller issues is over. First of all, we will have to meet the goal of becoming Atmanirbhar Bharat…It is the need of the hour, it is everyone’s duty. Parties do not come in its way. Sirf Dil chahiye, desh ke liye chahiye,” PM Modi said.

The iconic old building, designed by British architects Sir Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker, was completed in 1927 and is now 96 years old. Over the years, it was found to be inadequate for present-day requirements.

Speaking in Lok Sabha (old Parliament building) yesterday, PM Modi paid tributes to “every brick” of the old building and said the MPs will enter the new building with “new hope and confidence”.

Government sources say the building won’t be demolished and that it will be “retrofitted” to provide more functional spaces for Parliamentary events. Some reports also suggest that a part of the old building could be converted into a museum. “The historic structure will be conserved, as it is an archaeological asset of the country,” sources said.

Women’s Reservation Bill

This Special Session of Parliament will continue till Friday. During the Session, a total of up to eight Bills are scheduled for deliberation and approval.  Government sources said that the Women’s Reservation Bill has been approved by the Union Cabinet and is likely to be tabled in Parliament (Lok Sabha) today at 3 pm. In a push for gender equality on the political landscape, the Bill calls for a 33 per cent quota in Lok Sabha and State Assemblies. It was passed by the Rajya Sabha in 2010.

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