India’s prime minister presided over the opening of the country’s new massive and controversial parliament building in New Delhi Sunday.
Many of the opposition parties refused to join in the opening ceremonies. They have criticized Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s takeover of the ceremony and called for President Droupadi Murmu’s participation in the event.
The parties said in a joint statement last week, “ ...Modi’s decision to inaugurate the new Parliament building by himself, completely sidelining President Murmu, is not only a grave insult, but a direct assault on our democracy...”
Rahul Gandh, head of the main opposition Congress Party, tweeted that Modi was treating the occasion as his coronation ceremony.
Modi has said he will seek a third term in next year’s elections.
Many people have also argued that the nearly $120 million used to build parliament could have been put to better use or a portion could have been used to renovate the old parliament.
The new building replaces the parliament from the British era. Modi said in his address Sunday that India has left behind its colonial past.
Information from Associated Press was used in this report.