On Sunday, 28 May, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the new Parliament building, seeking blessings from prominent spiritual figures of Tamil Nadu with an ancient sacred staff. He also installed the historic Sengol inside the Lok Sabha chamber.
Dressed in traditional attire, PM Modi was welcomed by Lok Sabha Speaker OM Birla when he walked through Gate No.1 into the Parliament premises.
At the inauguration of the new Parliament building the Prime Minister performed “Ganapati Homam” as priests from Karnataka’s Shringeri Math chanted Vedic prayers to invoke the Gods’ blessings.
The PM took Sengol in a procession accompanied by thousands of “nadaswaram” and the recital of Vedic mantras, to the newly build parliament building. After that, it was inscribed in the section situated on the right side of the Speaker’s desk in the Lok Sabha Chamber.
Rajnath Singh, Amit Shah, S Jaishankar, Ashwini Vaishnaw, Mansukh Mandaviya, Jitendra Singh, Yogi Adityanath, Himanta Biswa Sarma, and the party’s president J P Nadda were present for the event.
The prime minister also honoured some workers with shawls and souvenirs who were instrumental in the construction of the new Parliament building. There is also a multi-faith prayer that was held to embrace the occasion.
Later, the PM along with some other dignitaries and the speaker went to the old Parliament House.
The Lok Sabha chamber of the new Parliament building has the capacity to accommodate 888 members, while the Rajya Sabha chambers can fit up to 300. If a joint sitting of both Houses is convened, the Lok Sabha chamber can fit a maximum of 1,280 people.
On December 10, 2020, PM Modi laid the foundation stone of a new Parliament building. The existing Parliament building was completed in 1927, making it 96 years old.
Both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha have adopted resolutions promoting the government to erect a new structure for Parliament.
The building that had already been constructed was the site of independent India’s first Parliament and it was there that the Constitution was adopted.
The existing structure was not initially created for the purpose of housing two branches of the legislative body, and as such, the seating layout was inconvenient and cramped, and those seated in the back rows lacked desks.
Due to the small seating capacity of 440 people in the Central Hall, it was evident that a larger space was needed during joint sittings of both houses.