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Naveen Patnaik’s Party To Participate In Inauguration Of New Parliament House Amidst Opposition Boycott

Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik’s party is one of the few non-NDA parties to accept the invitation for inauguration of new Parliament House.

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Naveen Patnaik meets PM Modi
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Amidst Opposition’s boycott to inauguration of new Parliament House, Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik’s Biju Janata Dal has announced his participation in the event.

Patnaik’s party is one of the few non-NDA parties to accept the invitation for inauguration of new Parliament House.

Opposition have questioned inauguration of new Parliament building by PM Narendra Modi  instead of President Droupadi Murmu, while they have also lambasted government for keep the inauguration date on May 28, which coincides with the birth anniversary of VD Savarkar—Hindu ideologue whose ideology is poles apart from ‘Father of Nation’ Mahatma Gandhi.

"The President of India is the Head of the Indian State. The Parliament represents the 1.4 billion people of India. Both the institutions are symbols of Indian democracy and draw their authority from the Constitution of India," Patnaik’s party said in a statement.

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"BJD believes that these Constitutional institutions should be above any issue which may affect their sanctity and honour. Such issues can always be debated later in the august house. Hence the BJD shall be a part of this momentous occasion," the statement added.

NDTV report said Andhra Pradesh's ruling YSR Congress has also confirmed that it will attend the event.

It mentioned the Centre recently had approved the biggest-ever tranche of funds to Andhra Pradesh, since the state's bifurcation in June 2014.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has also largely remained in subtle support of the Centre's policies, joining the opposition only in select cases.

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Several other parties, including the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and Chandrababu Naidu's Telugu Desam Party (TDP) have confirmed their attendance. The Shiv Sena (Shinde faction), Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), the BJP's Tamil Nadu ally AIADMK (All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam) are also expected to be present at the function.

Earlier today, 20 Opposition parties announced that they will boycott Sunday's ceremony, calling the plans to have the Prime Minister inaugurate the new parliament building a "direct assault on democracy".

"This undignified act insults the high office of the President and violates the letter and spirit of the constitution. It undermines the spirit of inclusion which saw the nation celebrate its first woman Adivasi President," the Opposition parties said in a statement.

Patnaik, the five-time Chief Minister of Odisha, has always kept his party equidistant from the Congress and the BJP. But he has often offered issue-based support to the BJP in the past.

Ahead of next year's Lok Sabha elections, the BJD chief made it clear that his party will not be part of any opposition front. The announcement came after his meeting with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and on a day he had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi. He, however, called it a "courtesy meeting" and indicated that his non-aligned status will not change anytime soon.

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