Article 370, One Rank One Pension, GST: PM Modi traces historic Bills in old Parliament building

PM Modi on Monday hailed “historic decisions” taken by Parliament and also reminisced key moments witnessed by the Houses as he bid goodbye to the old Parliament building.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday traced the nearly eight-decade-long journey of the old Parliament building that has also been the country’s journey following its independence from British rule.

PM Modi hailed “historic decisions” taken by Parliament – referring to the scrapping of Article 370 and the implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST) and One Rank One Pension bills – as he set the tone for Parliament to shift to its new address.

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“The House will always say proudly that (the abrogation of) Article 370 became possible here… GST was also passed here… ‘One Rank-One Pension’ was witnessed by this House (and) 10 per cent reservation for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) was successfully allowed in the country for the first time without any dispute,” he said.

While talking about the historic moments that defined the building, PM Modi also recalled how it was here that Jawaharlal Nehru, the first PM of the country, gave his ‘stroke of midnight’ speech which laid the foundation for India as an independent country.

“The echo of Nehru ji’s ‘Stroke of Midnight’ speech will inspire us. It is also in this House where Atal Bihari Vajpayee said governments will come and go, but this country will stay,” the prime minister said today as he listed key milestones the old Parliament building has witnessed.

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The Parliament today met for a five-day special session, which would also witness the transfer of proceedings to the new Parliament building on Tuesday. Today is the last day of proceedings at the old building.

PM Modi remembers ‘bitter-sweet memories’

Addressing a packed House, the Prime Minister recalled “bitter-sweet memories (of the old building)” and landmark moments associated with the old Parliament, including the terror attack of 2001 and the role of the Parliament building in colonial times.

“Bidding goodbye to this building is an emotional moment…many bitter-sweet memories have been associated with it. We have all witnessed differences and disputes but, at the same time, we have witnessed ‘parivaar bhaav’, or ‘a feeling of family’,” the Prime Minister said in his speech.

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“There was a terror attack (on Parliament). This was not an attack on a building…. in a way, it was an attack on the ‘Mother of democracy’… on our living soul. The country can never forget that incident,” he said and paid tribute to security personnel who were killed in that attack.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also asserted, “Before Independence, the old Parliament was the place of the imperial legislative council. After Independence, it got the identity of ‘Sansad Bhawan’. While it is true that constructing this building was the decision of the foreign rulers, but we can never forget and can say it proudly that the sweat, hard work and money used in building it was of my countrymen.”

Striking nostalgic notes, the PM also praised the Chandrayaan-3 Moon mission and said India had “made the world proud… highlighted a new form of India’s strength”. He also spoke about the success of the G20 Summit and attributed it to ” 140 crore citizens… not any individual or party”.

The Prime Minister also referred to the historic Delhi Declaration and said negotiating the joint communique from G20 leaders underlined India’s strength and standing in the world.

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