Some non-BJP political parties and different other organisations took to streets in Jharkhand’s Ranchi on Sunday to protest against the Prime Minister inaugurating the new Parliament House in New Delhi, ignoring the President of the country.
The left parties such as the CPI, CPM and CPI M-L organised a protest that was joined by activists, writers and intellectuals at Albert Ekka Chowk, the nerve centre of the state capital.
The Congress, on the other hand, organised another programme to protest the same when the party workers led by their leaders sat on a dharna a few kilometres away at Birsa Chowk near the statue of the tribal icon.
The protesters at Albert Ekka Chowk wore black badges and carried placards that had, among other slogans, Rashtrapati ka apmaan, nehi sahega Hindustan (India won’t tolerate the humiliation of the President) written on them.
“A new black chapter has been added to the country’s history today,” said CPI state secretary Mahendra Pathak, explaining that not inviting the President for the inauguration of the new Parliament building tantamount to insulting her as a session of the Parliament begins with her address and a bill becomes law under her seal.
“Not inviting her for inaugurating the new Parliament building is certainly an insult to the President and also disregard to the Constitution,” said CPM state secretary Prakash Viplab, adding the President comes first in the hierarchy.
Ratan Tirkey, former Tribes Advisory Committee member and Jharkhand statehood movement activist, was more vocal.
“This has proved that the BJP projecting Droupadi Murmu as the first tribal woman President of the country was aimed at nothing more than just wooing the tribal voters during the elections,” he told this newspaper, adding the BJP would “have to pay heavily for this arrogance in the next elections”.
At Birsa Chowk, rural development and parliamentary affairs minister Alamgir Alam and Congress state president Rajesh Thakur led party workers who staged a dharna for a few hours there.
“Not inviting the President is an insult to her position as she has been deprived of her legitimate right,” Alam said on the occasion.
“Parliament is the temple of democracy and the post of the President is its first most important part,” Thakur said, strengthening Alam’s argument.
Rashtrapati pad ke samman me, Congress maidan me (The Congress came out on the streets to protect the glory of the President’s post) was written on a placard that Alam was seen holding at the protest site.