Prime Minister Modi in his speech at the new Parliament site said the new building bears witness to the creation of 'Atmanirbhar Bharat'. Modi laid the foundation stone for the new Parliament building in the Parliament House Complex earlier today.
The Prime Minister said, "The old building fulfilled the needs of the country, the new Parliament building will fulfill the country's aspirations. If the old Parliament House gave direction to post-Independence India, the new building would become a witness to the creation of Aatmanirbhar Bharat,"
He said that today is a day of pride for 1.3 billion Indians witnessing this historic moment. "The new Parliament building is an example of the co-existence of the new and the old. This is an effort to make changes within oneself in accordance with the time and needs," he further added.
Modi said that he vividly remembers the day he stepped into the Parliament as an MP in 2014. "I had bowed my head and saluted this temple of democracy," he was quoted saying.
Modi said that it is ironic that other countries teach India a lesson on democracy. He said democracy in India is 'sacred' and is a 'way of life'.
The foundation stone laying ceremony was attended by guests including Tata Group Chairman Emeritus Ratan Tata, Union Minister HS Puri, Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha Harivansh and several other religious leaders.
The ceremony was followed by an interfaith prayer at 1:30pm and Modi's address at 2:15pm.
The new Parliament building will cost Rs 971 crore and is estimated to be completed by 2022. Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla said that the new building will be a prime example of 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat'. The current Parliament building was constructed by the British and its foundation stone was laid on February 12, 1921.
The Supreme Court on Monday expressed its strong displeasure with the Centre for 'moving forward aggressively' with the construction work of the Central Vista project. The apex court, however, allowed the December 10 foundation stone-laying ceremony.
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