NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday performed a bhoomi pujan to mark the symbolic launch of the new Parliament building as part of an ambitious Central Vista plan. Around 200 dignitaries, including Union Ministers, MPs, foreign envoys and religious leaders attended the function that was webcast live. Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla spoke exclusively to The Daily Guardian on the occasion of the foundation stone-laying ceremony for a new Parliament building at Central Vista being laid down in New Delhi.

Q: It’s a historic festival as PM Modi said the new Parliament would showcase self-reliant India. What do you have to say about that? 

A: The new Parliament will be a beacon of hope and trust. Our citizens have increased hopes and aspira tions from their representatives, so definitely we would want a Parliament that can fulfil the hopes and aspirations of people. This new structure would, for sure, go a long way in helping achieve the goals.

 Q: Questions are being raised about the need for this kind of expenditure when our economy is struggling due to the pandemic. The opposition has also raised this point multiple times. What are your views on this?

 A: Covid-19 is a huge battle for all of us but the current government has made enough arrangements to deal with it as well. A pandemic cannot be the reason behind an entire country stopping or lagging, we have to move ahead. A sign of going forward is through infrastructure be it flyovers, dams, lakes or roads. In this same vein, our representatives need to have a place to properly work and enact the decisions being made to strengthen our country.

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