Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi today inaugurated the new Parliament building amid a boycott by opposition parties, which insisted President Droupadi Murmu should do the honours.
"This is not just a complex but a symbol of the aspirations of 140 crore Indians," Modi said about the new parliament building. "Our independence ignited the hope for freedom in many countries across the globe. We sparked freedom struggles and supported self-rule for these countries."
He installed the historical sceptre ‘Sengol’ in the new Lok Sabha chamber and unveiled the inauguration plaque to mark the occasion with Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla. They also participated in a pooja ceremony to bless the building.
PM Modi then felicitated a group of construction workers involved in the making of the grand new parliament and was present for a multifaith prayer meeting with over 60 religious leaders invited to the event.
In the second leg of the ceremony, he launched a special INR 75 coin and stamp to commemorate the inauguration of the new building. It will also be a tribute to 75 years of independent India.
The event is not without controversy, with 20 opposition political parties boycotting the ceremony.
Top wrestlers including Vinesh Phogat and Olympic medallists Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik, who have been staging a sit-in at Jantar Mantar in Delhi demanding Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief and BJP MP Brij Bhushan Singh's arrest for allegedly sexually harassing seven women grapplers, including a minor, have announced they will hold a women's Mahapanchayat before the new Parliament building today.
The new parliament building can comfortably seat 888 members in the Lok Sabha chamber and 300 in the Rajya Sabha chamber. For a joint sitting of both the houses, 1,280 MPs can be accommodated in the Lok Sabha chamber.
The triangular-shaped four-storey building has a built-up area of 64,500 square metres. It has three main gates - Gyan Dwar, Shakti Dwar and Karma Dwar - and separate entrances for VIPs, MPs and visitors.