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Claim About ‘Sengol’ “Bogus”, Says Congress, Government Hits Back

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The ‘Sengol’ will be installed close to the Chair of the Lok Sabha speaker.

New Delhi:

Home Minister Amit Shah today hit out at the Congress over its claim that there is no documented evidence of Lord Mountbatten, C Rajagopalachari and Jawaharlal Nehru describing the ‘Sengol’ as a symbol of the transfer of power by the British to India. Several top BJP leaders and Ministers have also launched fresh attacks on the Congress and other Opposition parties for announcing that they would boycott the inauguration of the new Parliament building.

“Why does the Congress party hate Indian traditions and culture so much? A sacred Sengol was given to Pandit Nehru by a holy Saivite Mutt from Tamil Nadu to symbolize India’s freedom but it was banished to a museum as a ‘walking stick’,” he tweeted, accusing the grand old party of heaping “another shameful insult”.

The Thiruvaduthurai Adheenam, a holy Saivite Mutt, itself spoke about the importance of the Sengol at the time of India’s freedom, Mr Shah said, accusing the Congress of calling the Adheenam’s history “bogus”.

BJP president JP Nadda said parties that are boycotting the inauguration of the new Parliament building are dynasty-run, “whose monarchic methods are at loggerheads with the principles of republicanism and democracy in our Constitution”.

In a series of tweets, Mr Nadda said the boycott was an insult to the makers of the Constitution. Naming the Congress and the “Nehru-Gandhi dynasty”, the BJP chief said “elitist mindsets” of dynasts are preventing them from logical thinking and they are “unable to digest a simple fact that the people of India have placed their faith in a man hailing from a humble background”.

The ‘Sengol’ will be installed close to the Chair of the Lok Sabha speaker after the new Parliament building is inaugurated by PM Modi on May 28, an event being attended by 25 political parties, but 20 Opposition parties, including the Congress, are boycotting.

Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh has said that the Prime Minister and “his drum-beaters” are using the sceptre for their political ends in Tamil Nadu. “This is typical of this brigade that embroiders facts to suit its twisted objectives,” he said.

He claimed that a majestic sceptre conceived of by a religious establishment in the Madras province and crafted in Madras city (now Chennai) was indeed presented to Jawaharlal Nehru in August 1947.

“There is no documented evidence whatsoever of Mountbatten, Rajaji and Nehru describing this sceptre as a symbol of transfer of British power to India. All claims to this effect are plain and simple — bodgus,” he said.

“Wholly and completely manufactured in the minds of a few and dispersed into WhatsApp, and now to the drum-beaters in the media. Two of the finest Rajaji scholars with impeccable credentials have expressed surprise,” the Congress general secretary communications said.

The new parliament building will be inaugurated by the PM on Sunday, amid the Opposition raising the pitch on PM Modi allegedly side lining President Droupadi Murmu, and calling it “a direct assault” on democracy.

“Prime Minister Modi’s decision to inaugurate the new parliament building by himself, completely sidelining President Murmu, is not only a grave insult but a direct assault on our democracy… This undignified act insults the high office of the President and violates the letter and spirit of the constitution. It undermines the spirit of inclusion which saw the nation celebrate its first woman Adivasi President,” the opposition parties said in a statement.

In a sharp counter-attack, the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) labelled the decision to boycott the inauguration as a “blatant affront to democratic ethos and constitutional values of our great nation”.