In 2015, on the 125th birth anniversary of ‘Architect of the Constitution’ BR Ambedkar, the Modi government announced by way of a gazette notification that November 26 is to be marked as ‘Constitution Day’ every year. It was on November 26, 1949 that the Constitution was adopted by the Constituent Assembly before being implemented on January 26, 1950, which is known as ‘Republic Day’.
Also in 2015, the Modi government launched several programmes for the welfare of Scheduled Castes (SCs), a category to which Ambedkar belonged, besides honouring the Architect of the Constitution.
This year, an all-party event to observe Constitution Day in the Central Hall of Parliament on Friday was fixed.
However, 14 political parties led by the Congress decided to boycott the event in Parliament to protest against the ruling Modi government.
Besides the Congress, the other parties which boycotted the Parliament even included Shiv Sena, NCP, DMK, RJD, and the Left.
Congress MP and deputy leader in Rajya Sabha Anand Sharma, in a press conference, said the party boycotted the event as it objected to the “unconstitutional” manner in which the Modi government has been functioning.
In a bid to embarrass the government, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra in charge of Uttar Pradesh (UP) chose the day to visit Prayagraj. According to the party’s media department, she will meet a Dalit family – belonging to the Pasi caste – whose four members were allegedly murdered by feudal goons.
It said, “Musclemen had attacked the family earlier also. The exploitation of Dalits has increased under the Yogi government in Uttar Pradesh. Law and order has crumbled in the state.”
UP faces state election in February-March next year.
On the other hand, the government attacked the opposition parties on the day.
While speaking in Parliament, Modi made a strong statement against several opposition parties including the Congress and several regional parties. Without naming any, he said, “India is heading towards a kind of a crisis in the form of family-based parties, which is a matter of concern for the people devoted to the Constitution and a matter of concern for those who believe in democracy.”
Elaborating on his charge, the Prime Minister said, “More than one person from a family joining the party on the basis of merit does not make the party dynastic. Problems arise when a party is run by the same family, generation after generation.”
भारत एक ऐसे संकट की ओर बढ़ रहा है, जो संविधान को समर्पित लोगों के लिए चिंता का विषय है, लोकतंत्र के प्रति आस्था रख… https://t.co/NBf9GKgDox
— PMO India (@PMOIndia) 1637906534000
PM Modi lamented that the spirit and every section of the Constitution is also hurt when political parties lose their democratic character. “How can the parties which have lost their democratic character protect democracy ?” he said.
संविधान की भावना को भी चोट पहुंची है, संविधान की एक-एक धारा को भी चोट पहुंची है, जब राजनीतिक दल अपने आप में अपना लो… https://t.co/jq7MPucQUT
— PMO India (@PMOIndia) 1637906603000
In a direct attack on RJD supremo Lalu Prasad, who was convicted by the Supreme Court in the fodder scam, jailed and debarred from contesting elections, the PM also warned against the tendency of forgetting and glorifying such convicted corrupt people. He said while giving an opportunity to reform we should refrain from glorifying such people in public life.
Modi alleged that some political parties are always against observing Constitution Day. He reminded that while discussing in Parliament in 2015 the government’s move to observe November 26 every year as Constitution Day, some political parties had objected and asked what the need was for such a day.
President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu and Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla also spoke on the occasion.
The Constitution Day this year has been observed three days before the Winter Session of Parliament which commences on November 29.