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BRS, AAP insulted President's dignity by boycotting her address: BJP


Published on: January 31, 2023 | Updated on: January 31, 2023

BJP MP Ravi Shankar Prasad at Parliament House complex on the first day of the Budget Session, in New Delhi, Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023. (Photo: PTI)

NEW DELHI: The BJP on Tuesday slammed the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) for boycotting President Droupadi Murmu's address to the joint sitting of Parliament, saying they have "insulted" the dignity attached to the highest constitutional position and India's parliamentary democracy.

BJP leader and former Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said India's first tribal President gave her maiden speech in Parliament to mark the start of the Budget session and it was a moment to greet her.

"There is a limit to political opposition and opposition parties should maintain certain norms...Some people took it to the greatest low of our parliamentary democracy namely the BRS and the Aam Aadmi Party who chose to boycott," he told reporters.

The BRS is in power in Telangana while the AAP is in Delhi and Punjab.

The two opposition parties said their boycott was to mark their protest against the Centre's policies over a host of issues, including its treatment of states.

This is a "baseless" argument, it was the President's address after all they chose to boycott, Prasad said. They speak about democracy only in name but insult its traditions, he added.

He also rejected opposition parties' criticism that the address glorified the government's work.

"What happens in a few opposition-ruled states during the start of budget sessions", he asked, a reference to a customary address from a governor who read out from the speech approved by the state government concerned.

The President's address is cleared by the Union Cabinet.

He said if opposition parties had any issues with the government's achievements cited in the speech, they could have raised them during the discussion on her address and the government would have responded effectively.

Prasad said there was nothing wrong in Murmu's address as it was full of "concrete" points, highlighting the Centre's all-inclusive development work while boosting its cultural heritage.