New Parliament building inauguration: Congress on Friday questioned the authenticity of the government's narrative on the 'Sengol', which will be installed close to the Chair of the Lok Sabha speaker after the inauguration of the new Parliament building by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 28.
Congress leader Jairam Ramesh claimed there is no documented evidence of Lord Mountbatten, C Rajagopalachari and Jawaharlal Nehru describing the 'Sengol' as a symbol of the transfer of power by the British to India. He further said that all claims circulating about 'Sengol' are "typically false narratives from WhatsApp University. He also alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his drum-beaters are using the ceremonial sceptre for their political ends in Tamil Nadu.
Typically false narratives from WhatsApp University
"Is it any surprise that the new Parliament is being consecrated with typically false narratives from WhatsApp University? The BJP/RSS Distorians stand exposed yet again with Maximum Claims, Minimum Evidence," said the Congress leader.
He claimed that a majestic sceptre conceived of by a religious establishment in the Madras province and crafted in Madras City (now Chennai) was indeed presented to Nehru in August 1947. "A majestic sceptre conceived of by a religious establishment in then Madras province and crafted in Madras city was indeed presented to Nehru in August 1947."
'No documented evidence'
On the BJP claim that the golden sceptre was a symbol of the transfer of power and that it went into oblivion post-independence, Ramesh said, "There is no documented evidence whatsoever of Mountbatten, Rajaji and Nehru describing this sceptre as a symbol of the transfer of British power to India. All claims to this effect are plain and simple — BOGUS. Wholly and completely manufactured in the minds of a few and dispersed into WhatsApp, and now to the drum-beaters in the media. Two of the finest Rajaji scholars with impeccable credentials have expressed surprise."
Why is President Droupadi Murmu not being allowed to inaugurate
He further said that the sceptre was later kept for display at the Allahabad Museum. “What Nehru said there on December 14, 1947, is a matter of public record despite whatever labels may say. The sceptre is now being used by the PM & his drum-beaters for their political ends in Tamil Nadu. This is typical of this brigade that embroiders facts to suit its twisted objectives,” he said. “The real question is why is President Droupadi Murmu not being allowed to inaugurate the new Parliament?” he added.
As many as 20 opposition parties have decided to boycott the ceremony to protest the "sidelining" of President Murmu. The Opposition parties had said the prime minister's decision to inaugurate it by himself, "completely sidelining President Droupadi Murmu, is not only a grave insult but a direct assault on our democracy which demands a commensurate response". In a joint statement on Wednesday, 19 political parties said, "When the soul of democracy has been sucked out of Parliament, we find no value in a new building.
On Thursday, the BJP had alleged that the Congress displayed disregard for Hindu traditions by calling the sacred 'Sengol' a "golden stick gifted" to India's first prime minister Nehru and tucking it away in a museum. The vesting of the "sacred 'Sengol'" with Nehru, on the eve of India's Independence, was the exact moment of transfer of power from the British to India, BJP leader Amit Malviya had said.