As many as 25 parties are expected to attend the inauguration of the new Parliament building by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday even as 20 Opposition parties have decided to boycott the event.
Apart from the 18 members of the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA), including the Bharatiya Janata Party, seven non-National Democratic Alliance parties will attend the ceremony, going by their stated position on the issue which has snowballed into another political flashpoint between the ruling and opposition camps.
The Bahujan Samaj Party, the Shiromani Akali Dal, the Janata Dal-Secular, the Lok Janshakti Party-Ram Vilas, the Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress, the Biju Janata Dal and the Telugu Desam Party are the seven non-NDA parties expected to be present at the event.
The presence of these seven parties, which together account for 50 MPs in the Lok Sabha, will be a major relief for the BJP-led NDA.
Their participation will help the NDA blunt the Opposition's charge that it is all a government event.
JD-S supremo and former prime minister H D Deve Gowda on Thursday said he will be attending the inauguration as the new Parliament 'is a property of the country and built from taxpayers' money'.
The JD-S patriarch questioned whether it was the office of the BJP and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh for boycotting its inauguration.
"I am attending the inauguration of the new Parliament building. It is the property of the country. It is not anyone's personal matter," Gowda said.
Speaking at the JD-S introspection meeting following Karnataka Assembly poll results in Bengaluru, he said it is not anyone's personal programme, it is a country's programme.
"That magnificent building was built with the tax money of the people of the country. It belongs to the country. It is not a BJP or RSS office," he said, adding he is participating in the inauguration of the new Parliament building as a former prime minister and a citizen of the country.
Stating that he has many reasons to oppose BJP politically, Gowda, according to an official release said, "I do not like to bring politics in the matter of opening the Parliament building."
"I have been elected to both houses of Parliament. I have performed duty there in the constitutional framework, and I still am a member (of the Rajya Sabya)," he said.
"I have worked to protect the values of the Constitution. Therefore, I cannot bring politics into the matter of the Constitution," he added.
Noting that many parties have boycotted the inauguration of the Parliament building and many have asked him whether he will attend it or not, being a former PM, Gowda said, "I want to tell them that I am committed to the Constitution and will go to the inauguration of the Parliament building."
Besides the BJP, the 18 NDA members include the Shiv Sena, the National People's Party, the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party, the Sikkim Krantikari Morcha, the Jannayak Janata Party, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, the Indhiya Makkal Kalvi Munnetra Kazhagam, the All Jharkhand Students Union, the Republican Party of India, the Mizo National Front, the Tamil Maanila Congress, the Indigenous People's Front of Tripura (Tripura), the Bodo People's Party, the Pattali Makkal Kacchi, the Mharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, the Apna Dal and the Asom Gana Parishad, alliance leaders said.
Nineteen parties, including the Congress, the Left, the Trinamool Congress, the Samajwadi Party and the Aam Aadmi Party, have come together to jointly announce the boycott, saying they find no value in a new building when the 'soul of democracy has been sucked out'.
They have also protested the decision that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the building, claiming this was an insult to the highest constitutional office of the President of India.
Separately, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen chief Asaduddin Owaisi said if Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla does not inaugurate the new Parliament building, his party would not attend the event.