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‘Angry Lions With Bared Fangs’: Oppn Slams National Emblem Atop New Parliament

Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the national emblem on the roof of the new Parliament building.

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Edited By :Tejas Harad

As Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the newly constructed national emblem on the roof of the new Parliament building in New Delhi on Monday, 11 July, a number of Opposition leaders criticised the inauguration and raised a variety of concerns.

All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi asserted that the head of the government should not have been given the role of unveiling the national emblem atop the Parliament, as the speaker of the Lok Sabha represents the Parliament.

"Constitution separates powers of parliament, govt & judiciary. As head of govt, @PMOIndia shouldn’t have unveiled the national emblem atop new parliament building. Speaker of Lok Sabha represents LS which isn’t subordinate to govt. @PMOIndia has violated all constitutional norms," Owaisi wrote on Twitter.

CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury too took exception to the PM unveiling the national emblem, saying it's a "clear violation of our Constitution."

"PM unveiling the national emblem on top of the new Parliament building is a clear violation of our Constitution. The Constitution unambiguously separates the 3 wings of our democracy – the Executive (government), the Legislature (Parliament and state assemblies) and the Judiciary," Yechury tweeted.

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A number of Congress leaders also took an exception to the ceremony, with some criticising the expression of the lions etched in the emblem.

"To completely change the character and nature of the lions on Ashoka's pillar at Sarnath is nothing but a brazen insult to India’s National Symbol!" said Rajya Sabha MP and Spokesperson of All India Congress Committee (AICC) Jairam Ramesh.

Congress MP Manickam Tagore tweeted, "State Emblem of India for 75 years remains one but suddenly some Sanghi’s have one .. can you find the difference from Real one & Fake One ?"

Trinamool Congress's Mahua Moitra and Jawahar Sircar also raised their concer

Stating that no one has the "right to desecrate national icons such as the Ashok Stambh," CPI(M) leader Thomas Issac stated, "Modi has converted the lean, serene and graceful lions on the national emblem into scowling, muscular and menacing lions. True model of Hindutva transformation."

'Emblem Copied Correctly': Ex ASI ADG

However, Former ADG Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), BR Mani, said that the Ashoka Pillar excavated in 1905 was copied exactly to be installed on top of the Parliament building.

"Will not call claims of opposition leaders baseless or meaningless but it's not right to make political commentary on it," he told news agency ANI.

The original pillar is 7-8 feet while this is about 21 feet, he explained, stating that this difference alters the perspective.

"When seen from ground level angle differs but when seen from the front, it is clear that it is a good attempt to copy it," he added.

Some others opined that Hindu rites should not have been performed to inaugurate the national emblem, as India is a secular country.

The Inauguration Ceremony

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday unveiled the national emblem on the roof of the new Parliament building in New Delhi.

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi and Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri were present on the occasion.

The emblem is made of bronze with a total weight of 9,500 kg and is 6.5 metre in height. The emblem was unveiled followed by a puja attended by the prime minister.

The building is expected to cost the government around Rs 1,250 crore, up 29 percent from the initial budgeted expenditure of Rs 977 crore, as per reports.

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