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Parliament Holds Its Last Session in Old Iconic Building

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Tuesday September 19, 2023 0:26 AM, Aleem Faizee, ummid.com

Parliament Holds Its Last Session in Old Iconic Building

[Indian Parliament's Old Building (File Photo)]

New Delhi: The Old and Iconic Building of the Parliament held its last session Monday September 18, 2023. From Tuesday September 19, 2023 onwards, the Parliament Sessions will now be held in the New Building.

Old Parliament Building

The Old Parliament Building was originally the seat of the Imperial Legislative Council between 18 January 1927 before independence and 15 August 1947 - the day India attained independence. The building was designed by British architects Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker and was constructed between 1921 and 1927.

The Parliament House, also known as Sansad Bhavan, became the Constituent Assembly of India between August 15, 1947 and 26 January 1950. It was renamed as the Parliament of India on January 26, 1950 when India became a Republic and India's Constitution came into force, and remained so till September 18, 2023 when it held its last session.

For 73 years – from 1950 to 2023, the Old Parliament Building housed the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, the Lower and Upper houses respectively, in India's bicameral parliament.

New Parliament Building

Built on an area of 64,500 square metres as part of the Indian government's Central Vista Redevelopment Project launched in 2019, the Parliament's New Building was completed at a cost of ₹836 crore.

Parliament Holds Its Last Session in Old Iconic Building

[New Building of the Indian Parliament]

Proposals for a new parliament building to replace the existing complex emerged in the early 2010s during the Congress regime due to stability concerns with the older structure. The original building, a 93-year-old structure, suffered from inadequate space for house members and their staff and design changes that put its structural stability at risk as it wasn't earthquake-proof.

The ground-breaking ceremony for the construction was held in October 2020 whereas the foundation stone was laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on December 10, 2020. The New Building was inaugurated on May 28, 2023 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in near solo show.

The Indian Parliament's New Building is located on Rafi Marg, which crosses the Central Vista and is surrounded by the Old Parliament House, Vijay Chowk, India Gate, National War Memorial, Vice President's House, Hyderabad House, Secretariat Building, Prime Minister's Office and residence, ministerial buildings and other administrative units of the Indian government.

The newly built Sansad Bhavan will begin the official business during the Parliament Special Session, on September 19 2023 which coincides with Hindu festival Ganesh Chaturthi.

Parliament’s 'Farewell Session' in Old Building

The Old Building of the Indian Parliament held its last session on Monday September 18, 2023 – the first day of the Special Session of the Parliament convened by the BJP government.

Speaker OM Birla opened the session with his opening remarks. Among other things, the Speaker said India will be hosting a P20 Summit – G20 Parliamentary Speakers’ Summit, in October 2023.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi while addressing the last session of the Parliament in its Old Building recalled and hailed the contribution of the past prime ministers and members of Parliament – from Pandit Nehru’s famous “at the stroke of midnight” to Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Terror Attack during the Parliament’s Session and Dr Manmohan Singh’s tenure.

"This Parliament shed tears when it lost three Prime Ministers during their tenure -- Lal Bahadur Shastri ji, Indira Gandhi ji, and Jawahar Lal Nehru ji. When their tenure were cut short, this House shed tears”, PM Modi recalled in his “farewell” speech in the Old Sansad Bhavan.

"This is the House in which PM Jawaharlal Nehru's speech of the 'stroke of the midnight hour' echoed on the day of Independence. This House also remembers Atal Bihar Vajpayee's speech of sarkarein banengi, bigdenge, ye desh rehna chahiye, loktantra rehna chahiye (Governments will be formed, governments will fall. But the country will remain, democracy will remain.)”, PM Modi said.

PM Modi also recalled and listed some of the important decisions taken, bills passed and few memorable events that the Old Parliament Building was witness to during the last 73 years, including the famouse vote on no confidence motion when the Vajpayee government fell by just vote.

Other members who addressed the House after PM Modi also remembered and shared their past memories and memorable moments in the House.

The 5-day Special Session of the Parliament will now move to the New Building from Tuesday September 19, 2023. Some important Bills are likely to be passed during the last four days of the Parliament’s Special Session – including the Women’s Reservation Bill.

The Cabinet has passed the Women’s Quota Bill today evening and it is likely to be tabled in the Lok Sabha in the New Building Tuesday.

[With inputs from Agencies and Parliament Archives.]


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