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Prez not invited to new Parl as she is tribal, widow: Stalin Jr

September 21, 2023 10:12 IST

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam Youth wing leader and Tamil Nadu minister Udhayanidhi Stalin on Wednesday alleged President Droupadi Murmu was not invited to the new Parliament building, during its inauguration earlier or now, as she was a widow and hailed from the tribal community and said "this is what we call Sanatana Dharma."

IMAGE: Tamil Nadu minister Udhayanidhi Stalin. Photograph: ANI Photo

The Youth Welfare and Sports Development minister had earlier stoked a row with his anti-Sanatan Dharma remarks that led to a heated debate across the country, especially with the BJP targeting him over the issue.

Speaking at a party event here, he said Murmu was neither invited for the inauguration of the new Parliament building a few months ago, nor presently when it is hosting its first ever session, a five-day special sitting where the women's reservation bill was passed today.

"Who is our first citizen--the President. What is her name? It is Droupadi Murmu. She was not invited for the inaugural ceremony of the new Parliament building. This is what we call Sanatanam."

"Yesterday a female Hindi actor was taken to the new Parliament building but there was no permission for the president. Why? Because Draupadi Murmu is from a tribal community, because she has lost her husband. This is what we call sanatana dharma," he added.


Congress leader Rahul Gandhi along with some opposition leaders too expressed surprise over the President not being invited to the important occasion of shifting Parliament to new premises.

Parliament moved into a swanky new complex on Tuesday. An event to mark the occasion was held in the historic Central Hall of the old building and was presided by Vice President and Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankar.

Raising the issue in Lok Sabha during the debate on the women's reservation bill, Rahul Gandhi said it would have been befitting to invite the President of India, who is from the tribal community, to the event.

"I would like to say that one of the things that this (new Parliament building) is quite a nice building...nice peacock feathers on the ground. Nice peacock feathers in the chair. It's a nice, tasteful building.

"But frankly I would have liked to see the President of India in this process. The President of India is a woman, she represents the tribal community, and it would have been befitting to have her visible in this transfer from one House to another," he said.

Jharkhand Mukti Morcha MP Vijay Kumar Hansdak also raised the issue saying the government not inviting the President of India can be construed as disrespect to women of the country.

"We could not see her at any of the events related to the new Parliament building although she occupies the highest office in this country," Hansdak said.

Aam Aadmi Party MP Sushil Kumar Rinku said the President being the custodian of Parliament her absence was noticeable in this important process related to India's Parliament history.

The Trinamool Congress had on Tuesday had questioned why President Droupadi Murmu was not invited to the function held in New Delhi to mark the move to the new Parliament building.

Parliament shifted to the new building called 'Parliament House of India'. The old Parliament building is now named 'Samvidhan Sadan'.

In May, when the new Parliament building was inaugurated, the opposition leaders had boycotted the event and accused the government of violating Constitutional norms by not inviting President Murmu.

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