New Delhi, Sep 19: Congress President and Leader of the Opposition (LoP) in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge on Tuesday urged to adhering and preserving the Constitutional values and parliamentary traditions as the country moves ahead in effectively performing parliamentary duties.
Speaking at a function held in the Central Hall of Parliament to commemorate the rich legacy of the Parliament of India, Kharge recalled that the meetings of the Constituent Assembly were held in the chamber.
He said the Constitution of India is the bedrock of Indian democratic polity. “It is in this very Central Hall that the Constituent Assembly held its sittings from 1946 to 1949 spanning a period of 2 years, 11 months, and 17 days. And today, we humbly recall the phenomenal contributions made by Dr Rajendra Prasad, the First President of India, first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, first Home Minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and the architect of Indian Constitution Dr. B. R. Ambedkar,” he said.
It is also an occasion to recall with gratitude the contributions of G. V. Mavalankar, Dr Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan, and also acknowledge the collective contribution by Members of the Constituent Assembly, provisional Parliament, and first and all subsequent Lok Sabhas.
Kharge also said the collective efforts of parliamentarians have formed a sound foundation for India's growth as a nation.
“The success of the institutions lies in upholding constitutional values and ideals. The idea that institutions are sacrosanct and essential for success is a fundamental principle in governance and development,” the LoP said.
He said that we should commit ourselves to adhering to and preserving the Constitutional values and parliamentary traditions as the country moves ahead in effectively performing parliamentary duties and in our endeavours for the growth of our nation.
He also emphasised that at this juncture, “this is all due to the collective and dedicated effort by Parliamentarians cutting across the party lines over the past seven and half decades.”
“This rich legacy has formed a strong foundation for India’s growth as a powerful democratic nation,” he said.
He said that every nook and corner of the Parliament House has witnessed the evolution of our Parliamentary democracy over the past 75 years.
“As we bid adieu to the Parliament House and move to the New Parliament Building today, I am overwhelmed with emotions and tinge of pathos. We would, of course, be continuing our Parliamentary duties in the New Parliament Building, but will miss the Parliament House,” he said.
He said that the Central Hall was witness to Pandit Nehru’s ‘Tryst with Destiny’ speech on the eve of India’s independence. And yesterday the Prime Minister also mentioned in his speech and I am thankful to you for remembering this on this historic occasion.
Kharge said that during his speech, Pandit Nehru stated, which I quote, “Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to new, when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance….”
Kharge said that as the clock struck twelve, all the members of the Constituent Assembly took the following pledge: “At this solemn moment when the people of India, through suffering and sacrifice, have secured freedom, I, a member of the Constituent Assembly, do dedicate myself in all humility to the service of India and her people to the end that this ancient land attain her rightful and honoured place in the world and make her full and willing contribution to the promotion of world peace and the welfare of mankind.”
Members of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha on Tuesday gathered at the historic Central Hall of the old Parliament building for the function.