The leader of Congress in Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury read out the Preamble in the new Parliament building on Tuesday. As Chowdhury spoke in the Lok Sabha on the second day of the five-day special session, he said that nobody should try to create an unnecessary rift between ‘India’ and ‘Bharat’ as there is no difference between the two according to the Constitution of India.
Addressing the Lok Sabha members, Chowdhury said, “This Constitution is no less than the Gita, Quran and Bible for us. Article 1 says, “India, that is Bharat, shall be a Union of States…” It means that there is no difference between India and Bharat. It will be better if nobody tries to unnecessarily create a rift between the two”. The debate regarding ‘India’ and ‘Bharat’ started after Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan shared on X, formerly Twitter, a G20 dinner invite in which Droupadi Murmu was described as ‘President of Bharat’ and not India.
#WATCH | Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury reads out the Preamble in the new Parliament building.He says, “…This Constitution is no less than Gita, Quran and Bible for us…Article 1 says, “India, that is Bharat, shall be a union of states…” It means… pic.twitter.com/8EZf79gjUn
— ANI (@ANI) September 19, 2023
Speaking to the news agency ANI, the Congress leader said, “We want the Women’s Reservation Bill to be brought and passed as soon as possible”. He also said that the demand for the Women’s Reservation Bill was initiated by UPA and Sonia Gandhi. “It took so long, but we will be happy if this is introduced”, Chowdhury added.
Speaking in the first session of the Lok Sabha in the new Parliament building, Chowdhury said a women’s reservation bill was first brought in 1989 by the then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, in order to ensure one-third reservation for women in local body elections. “Since then, the Congress has been trying to bring law to ensure one-third reservation to women in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies,” Chowdhury added.
He also said that the governments under Rajiv Gandhi, Narasimha Rao, and Manmohan Singh had tried to pass the bill for providing reservation of one-third seats to women candidates. At times, it got passed in the Lok Sabha, but could not be cleared by the Rajya Sabha and vice versa, the Congress leader said. “The bill that came during Manmohan Singh’s tenure was passed by the Rajya Sabha and hence is still alive. The CWC (Congress Working Committee) resolution has spoken about this… Even Sonia Gandhi has written to Prime Minister (Narendra Modi). We reiterate our demand for women reservation bill,” Chowdhury said.
The government on Tuesday introduced a constitutional amendment bill to reserve one-third of seats in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies for women, reviving the concept of women’s reservation pending for 27 years for want of consensus among parties.
Holding a copy of the Constitution, Chowdhury, along with Rahul Gandhi and several other Congress and opposition leaders, walked towards the new Parliament building on Tuesday.
The DMK’s TR Baalu and Kanimozhi, Gandhi, Congress general secretaries KC Venugopal and Jairam Ramesh, as well as several other opposition leaders also walked together to the new building.
Earlier, the MPs attended a function in the Central Hall of the old Parliament building, marking the move to the new Parliament complex.
(with PTI inputs)