25-05-2023 : The BJP government at the Centre has come under fire from the Congress party once more for not inviting former President Ram Nath Kovind to the laying of the foundation for the new Parliament House and for now ignoring his successor, President Droupadi Murmu, for the inauguration of the new building on May 28. To protest the exclusion of President Murmu from the inauguration event, the Adivasi Congress, a faction of the Congress party that represents tribal tribes, has called for statewide demonstrations on Friday.
Jairam Ramesh, the General Secretary of the Congress party, shared the statements issued by the All India Adivasi Congress, emphasizing the neglect of tribal and Dalit rights under Prime Minister Modi’s leadership. The Adivasi Congress condemned the Modi government for undermining forest and environmental laws, which adversely impact tribal communities. They accused the government of turning the inauguration of the new Parliament House into a mere public relations exercise for political gain, instead of recognizing it as a significant historical moment.
Shivajirao Moghe, Chairman of the All India Adivasi Congress, expressed disappointment over the sidelining of India’s first woman tribal President, viewing it not only as an insult to India’s democracy but also to the entire tribal community. Moghe highlighted the significance of the President’s role as the highest Constitutional authority and the head of the state, responsible for summoning, proroguing, and addressing the Parliament. He criticized the BJP government for reducing the President’s office to tokenism and recalled that during the foundation laying ceremony in December 2020, the then President Kovind was not invited, revealing the mindset of the current BJP regime.
Moghe questioned the government’s commitment to the welfare of tribals and Dalits, noting that their constitutional rights remain insecure even when individuals from these communities occupy the highest constitutional positions under Prime Minister Modi’s tenure. He criticized several BJP-governed states for disregarding the Panchayats (Extension to the Scheduled Areas) Rules and diluting the PESA Act and the Forest Rights Act, which were introduced by the Congress government to safeguard the rights of tribals and forest dwellers.
The All India Adivasi Congress has announced statewide demonstrations for May 26 in response to these worries in order to hold the Centre responsible for what are allegedly its unlawful acts. They want to raise attention to the concerns of tribal groups all over India and to the way that the current administration is eroding their rights.
In general, the Congress party and the Adivasi Congress criticise the way the BJP government handled the opening of the new Parliament House, contending that it ignores the importance of tribal representation and jeopardises the constitutional rights of Dalits and tribals. The Adivasi Congress’s rallies are intended to draw attention to these problems and call for the Centre to take responsibility.