Senior Congress leader and former Rajya Sabha member Karan Singh on Monday wrote to Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, urging him to not abandon the "beautiful, unique, round" Parliament and move into a new, modern building, as proposed by the government.
In a letter to Naidu, also the chairman of Rajya Sabha — the Upper House of Parliament, Singh suggested changes in the existing Parliament building to accommodate more members.
"In my view, it should be possible for us to shift unnecessary material and offices out of the present building and extend the halls to accommodate more members," he wrote.
"I am of the confirmed opinion that the beautiful, unique, round Parliament building that we have should, on no account, be abandoned. We will never be able to build such a structure again, as to shift into a modern building will deprive us of the special ambience of the old one."
Singh, a member of the Jammu royal family who has been the Sadr-e-Riyasat of Jammu and Kashmir, expressed his views on how to restructure the Parliament building.
The former Union minister suggested that one could consider relocating Lok Sabha to the Central Hall, where the Constituent Assembly met for several years, and shift Rajya Sabha into the Lok Sabha hall; its old hall could be used as a central hall-type lounge for members.
"This would be far better than abandoning this magnificent building which is redolent with history and the memory of our great Constitution-makers and parliamentarians," he said.
The government proposes to construct a new building for Parliament and has moved forward towards this plan.