Saamana, the official mouthpiece of the Uddhav Thackeray faction condemned the inauguration ceremony of the new Parliament building, alleging that no one other than Prime Minister Narendra Modi was allowed to grab the limelight.
Raising questions on the functioning of Parliament, the mouthpiece stated that Lok Sabha used to run for at least 140 days in a year during former prime minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, while now it doesn't even run for 50 days.
Hitting out at the Centre, the Saamanastated, "The inauguration of the building of the new Parliament House took place with much grandeur. This ceremony meant 'Everything is Modi and only Modi'. Whether it was photographs or other filming, Modi did not allow anyone else's shadow to appear in it. That's the nature of Modi".
The editorial further said, "If the President would have inaugurated the new Parliament House, with the Speaker of the Lok Sabha and the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, Prime Minister Modi in the middle and Leader of the Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge on his right. If such an image had appeared from the temple of Democracy, it wouldn't have lowered Modi's greatness. If Modi had done all this, then the world would have felt that Modi has changed, but if he changes his nature then how is he, Modi?"
The editorial further accused the BJP of "putting locks" on the old Parliament where the Prime Minister had taken oath in 2014.
"When Modi became the Prime Minister of the country in 2014, he himself declared that 'The Constitution of the country is the only holy book. Our government will respect that holy book'. Modi entered the Parliament for the first time before sitting on the post of Prime Minister, when he was very emotional, he bowed down on the steps of the Parliament and shed tears. He assured of protecting the sanctity of this Parliament and strengthening the Parliament. But in just eight years, he locked the same Parliament and built a new Parliament building as per his wish. He organized the inauguration ceremony on the lines of a 'Maharaj' doing the Vastu of his palace," it stated.
The mouthpiece also criticized the rituals held during the inauguration ceremony and alleged that they were far away from "science and knowledge".
"The celebration of the new Parliament House was filled with activities giving importance to superstition and rituals while tearing down knowledge, science and technology to pieces. The sceptre (Sengol) has also arrived now. This means in a way now the monarchy has started. The new emperor's sceptre has reached Delhi in the name of democracy. Modi came in the circle of people who do not believe in science and reforms, they performed rituals. Should we call it Hindutva or the coronation ceremony? In Hinduism, there is faith but not superstition. What form of Indian Parliament are we showing to the world?" the editorial added.
Further levelling accusations that Parliament is adjourned to "avoid questions of Opposition", the column stated that the 'Satyamev Jayate' board should be taken down.
"If there will be no freedom of speech, so don't call it a temple of democracy. If the government will not allow asking sharp questions in that palace, then take down the board of 'Satyamev Jayate'. If people were not allowed 'roaring' on national issues, then cover the 'Indian symbol' of three lions on the Parliament's dome! The new parliament building does not mean the emperor's palace. It is the symbol of the hopes and aspirations of the country. Parliament is not just a carved building made of stone, brick and sand. The five lives of the country's democracy are contained in that building. We are prostrating to that temple! Modi behaved according to his nature. The country has to fulfil its duty," the Saamana further stated.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the new Parliament building in New Delhi on Sunday morning and installed the historic Sengol in the Lok Sabha chamber.
Asserting that the new Parliament will give new energy and strength to the largest democracy in the world, Modi said that it is the resolution of 140 crore Indians that consecrates the Parliament.
The new Parliament building is designed to enable 888 members to sit in the Lok Sabha. In the present building of the Parliament, there is a provision for the sitting of 543 Members in the Lok Sabha and 250 in the Rajya Sabha.
Keeping in view the future requirements, arrangements have been made for a meeting of 888 members in the Lok Sabha and 384 members in the Rajya Sabha in the newly constructed building of the Parliament. The joint session of both Houses will be held in the Lok Sabha Chamber.