Congress MP Jairam Ramesh on Saturday (September 23) drew a parallel between the new Parliament building and the old one stating that the former should be called “Modi Multiplex”, adding that the complex is “painful and agonising”, which is a result of “no consultations” with those who will use the building, before its construction.
The Congress leader, in a veiled suggestion, said that a better use of the new Parliament building, which witnessed its first bill passage in the recently concluded Special Session, “will be found after regime change in 2024”.
In a post on X, formerly Twitter, Jairam compared the infrastructural differences between the new Parliament building and the old one, now known as Samvidhan Sadan, and said that the new one “weakens the bonding needed to make the running of Parliament a success”, while the old building “not only had a certain aura but it facilitated conversations”.
He said that he saw the death of conversations in the four days of session held in the new Parliament building and slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the same.
“The new Parliament building launched with so much hype actually realises the PM’s objectives very well. It should be called the Modi Multiplex or Modi Marriot. After four days, what I saw was the death of confabulations and conversations—both inside the two Houses and in the lobbies. If architecture can kill democracy, the PM has already succeeded even without rewriting the Constitution,” he posted on X.
Taking a swipe at the new Parliament building, Jairam said that binoculars are now needed to see each other as the halls are not “cozy or compact”. He said that it was easier to walk between Houses in the old building, adding that if one lost his way, he would find it back due to its circular shape while in the new building, one would be lost in a “maze”.
“Binoculars are needed to see each other since the halls are simply not cozy or compact. The old Parliament building not only had a certain aura but it facilitated conversations. It was easy to walk between Houses, the Central Hall, and the corridors. This new one weakens the bonding needed to make the running of Parliament a success. Quick coordination between the two Houses is now exceedingly cumbersome. In the old building, if you were lost, you would find your way back again since it was circular. In the new building, if you lose your way, you are lost in a maze. The old building gave you a sense of space and openness while the new one is almost claustrophobic,” the Congress MP posted.
Stating that he earlier looked forward to going to the old building, Jairam said that the joy of hanging out in Parliament has “disappeared”. He expressed confidence that his feelings about the new Parliament building resonate with those of other MPs.
“The sheer joy of simply hanging out in Parliament has disappeared. I used to look forward to going to the old building. The new complex is painful and agonising. I am sure many of my colleagues across party lines feel the same,” he posted.
“I have also heard from the staff in the Secretariat that the design of the new building has not considered the various functionalities required to help them do their work. This is what happens when no consultations are done with the people who will use the building,” Jairam added.
In his conclusion, Jairam gave a veiled suggestion regarding putting the new Parliament building to “a better use” after the “regime change” in 2024.
“Perhaps a better use for the new Parliament building will be found after regime change in 2024,” he posted.
PM Modi had installed Sengol in Lok Sabha in a special ceremony on May 28 this year. The new Parliament building witnessed its first session in the form of Special Session called by the government in which historic Women’s Reservation Bill was passed from both Houses.