New parliament building to have first working day today

As Prime Minister Narendra Modi led an emotional homage to the legendary House, commemorating 15 former Prime Ministers, including Jawaharlal Nehru, whose “Tryst with Destiny” address, he said, “would keep inspiring us,” the political lines temporarily blurred on the final working day of the old Parliament.

In an hour-long speech, the PM lauded the majesty of Indian democracy, which sent “a poor boy like me, working on a railway platform, to Parliament” and sought cross-party solidarity for national good in Amrit Kaal.

The parliament proceedings will move to the new building from today. The old building was completed in 1927, and is now 96 years old. Over the years, it was found to be inadequate for present day requirements.

Built by British architects Sir Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker, itsaw both the country’s growth after independence as well as its battle for it.

The structure won’t be erased but will be used for additional useful rooms for legislative gatherings.

The historical building will be preserved since it is a national archaeological resource, according to sources.

The present structure would be renovated and made available for alternate uses, Hardeep Singh Puri, who was the then-Union housing and urban affairs minister, had stated to the Rajya Sabha in 2021.

The national archives will be relocated to the new parliament building for preservation-conscious refurbishment. This will give the ancient Parliament building additional room, which will be beneficial.

The four-storeyed new 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.

Amid frequent applause by ruling party MPs, the PM recalled the contributions of all Presidents and PMs from Nehru and Shastri to Chandra Shekhar, Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh and said: “Today is a day to celebrate past PMs.” He also lauded Sardar Patel, Ram Manohar Lohia, LK Advani and all 16 Lok Sabha Speakers right from GV Mavalankar.

In a special mention, he spoke of Bhagat Singh exploding a bomb in this very building in 1929 to “awaken a slumbering empire”.

The historical decisions taken in Parliament that found mention in the PM’s speech were Abrogation of Article 370, GST, One Rank One Pension, and 10% quota for the economically weak.

The PM wrapped up saying the membership of the 17th Lok Sabha would get the good fortune of acting as a link between past and present as the session prepares to shift to new Parliament tomorrow.