Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate India’s new parliament building in New Delhi today. The new building will accommodate
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate India’s new parliament building in New Delhi today.
The new building will accommodate 1,280 seats—over 50% larger capacity than the cramped seating in the previous colonial-era complex built by the British in 1927. The new parliament is the showpiece of a controversial $2.4 billion upgrade of the historic ‘Central Vista’ government quarter of India’s capital. Critics argue the developments are a ‘vanity project’ for Modi.
The new parliament building is a metaphor for Modi’s nationalist approach to politics. Decried by opponents as authoritarian, he and his supporters view his ‘New India’ vision as an overdue dismantling of Britain’s colonial legacy. Indeed, 19 opposition parties are boycotting today’s opening arguing that President Droupadi Murmu, India’s Head of State, should open the new building: not Modi.
Modi—who has been in power since 2014 having won the last 2019 election by a landslide—is almost certain to wring as much political capital out of today’s opening and other projects as possible ahead of next year’s general election. Well aware of this, expect the opposition to block these limelight opportunities in the near-to-medium term, including their strident opposition to Modi’s prominent role in today’s proceedings.