Tribune News Service
New Delhi, 14 November
Presiding officers of both the Houses of Parliament and top government ministers did not participate in the program to pay floral tributes to the country’s first PM Jawaharlal Nehru in Parliament on the occasion of the late leader’s birth anniversary on Sunday.
Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla and Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu were both absent. No senior minister of the government came to pay floral tributes. Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Minister Bhanu Pratap Singh was present.
Congress chief whip in Rajya Sabha and former minister Jairam Ramesh later tweeted, “Extraordinary visuals in the traditional ceremony today in Parliament on the occasion of the birth anniversary of those whose portraits adorn the Central Hall. Lok Sabha Speaker absent. What could be more brutal than the absence of the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha?”
Replying to Jayaram’s tweet, Derek O’Brien, leader of the Trinamool Congress in the Upper House, said, “Nothing surprises me now. This system is destroying India’s great institutions, including Parliament, in a day.”
Earlier today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had paid tribute to Pandit Nehru, tweeting, “Tributes to Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru ji on his birth anniversary.”
Congress President Sonia Gandhi visited Shanti Van to pay tribute to Pandit Nehru and later took part in a wreath laying ceremony at the Central Hall of Parliament where party leaders Mallikarjun Kharge, Anand Sharma, KC Venugopal and Congress MP from Amritsar Gurjit Singh Aujla was present.
The Congress had earlier questioned the absence of Nehru’s paintings from the material to mark the 75th year of independence issued by the Indian Council of Historical Research.
The ICHR later stated that the poster in question was only one in a series of several that would be unveiled as part of the “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav” event.
The Congress has been continuously accusing the ruling BJP of trying to undermine Nehru’s legacy.