Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said that it is a very emotional moment to bid farewell to the Old Parliament building as he reflected on the building’s 75 years journey. PM Modi was addressing the Special Session of Parliament in the Lok Sabha. Both the Upper and Lower Houses will move to the new building on Tuesday.
“We might be shifting to the new building but this building will keep on inspiring the coming generation. As it is a golden chapter of the journey of Indian democracy”, he said.
The Prime Minister reminisced the first time he came to Parliament and said, “It is the power of the democracy of India that a poor child who used to earn livelihood on a railway station reached Parliament.”
He also informed the House that more than 7500 public representatives have served in both Houses where the number of women representatives is approximately 600. PM Modi also informed that Indrajit Gupta has served for almost 43 years in this House, Shafiqur Rahman served at the age of 93 years and Chandrani Murmu was elected to the House at the young age of 25.
He acknowledged the leaderships of former prime ministers including Jawaharlal Nehu, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh and also mentioned former members such as Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Ram Manohar Lohia, Chandra Shekhar, Lal Krishna Advani who “enriched the discussions in the House and emboldened the voice of the common citizens.”
He said that even if discussions cease to take place in the historic old building, the echoes of the 7500 representatives have made the Old Parliament building into a pilgrimage. “Today’s occasion is a moment of pride for the 7500 representatives who have derived inspiration from within the walls of the Parliament”, Modi added.
Prime Minister stated that the echoes of ‘Stroke of Midnight’ by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru will continue to inspire every citizen of India. He also recalled Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s famous speech and quoted, “Governments will come and go. Parties will be made and unmade. This country should survive, its democracy should survive”.
Recalling the terrorist attack on the Parliament in 2001, he said that it was not an attack on the building but an attack on the Mother of Democracy itself. “It was an attack on the soul of India”, the Prime Minister remarked. He remembered the contributions of the bravehearts who stood between the terrorists and the House to protect its members.
PM Modi also remembered the 17 Speakers of the Lok Sabha and appreciated the contribution of the staff of the Parliament.
He further said that the present members of the House were very fortunate as they get the opportunity to become a link of the past with the future and expressed confidence that the members will move to the new building with great zeal and enthusiasm.
The new Parliament Building was inaugurated on 28th May by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a grand ceremony which was boycotted by the Opposition parties. The Congress and other parties had later called it Modi’s “Coronation”.