Indian lawmakers bid farewell to British era parliament building -18 September 2023 02:20 pm.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and lawmakers paid tribute to India’s parliament on Monday ahead of its move from a British colonial-era building to a new complex.

Built by British architects Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker two decades before India’s independence in 1947, the ancient parliament building witnessed the birth of a tortuous republic and later became the guardian of India’s largest democracy.

Now it will become a museum, with its 788 members moving to a new triangular complex, as part of a $2.4 billion project to rebuild the institution with a more Indian identity.

“Today is an opportunity to commemorate the 75 years of the Indian parliament before its work was shifted to the newly inaugurated building,” Modi said at a special session before the move on Tuesday.

In May, Modi inaugurated the new parliament, part of an ambitious redevelopment project of New Delhi’s Central Vista complex, despite protests from opposition parties who wanted the Indian President to go ahead with the inauguration.

The new, larger, four-story building can accommodate 1,272 people.

“This is a very emotional moment to say goodbye to the old parliament building… The glory of that building is also ours,” said the President. This glory is also ours,” Modi told lawmakers gathered in the lower house of the old parliament building. parliament.

His speech marked the start of a five-day extraordinary session called by the government, but there was no immediate confirmation of which bills would be discussed.

Indian lawmakers usually meet three times a year: the budget session, the monsoon session, and the winter session.

As opposition leaders questioned the importance of the special session, they bid farewell to the old building and welcomed improvements to logistics, security and technology.

Serena Hoyles

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