Lok Sabha: 'Secular Socialist' Removed From Constitution Copies Given to MPs says Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury
Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury claimed that the copies of the Constitution given to MPs entering the new Parliament building did not include the words 'socialist secular' in its Preamble.
NEW DELHI: In a recent development, Congress leader in the Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, raised concerns over copies of the Indian Constitution distributed to Members of Parliament (MPs) before entering the new Parliament building. Chowdhury alleged that these copies omitted the words 'socialist' and 'secular' from the preamble of the Constitution. Law Minister Ram Meghwal countered this claim, asserting that the copies given to MPs were the original versions, lacking the words 'socialist secular' but retaining "integrity under fraternity."
On Wednesday, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, accompanied by Rahul Gandhi and several other Congress and opposition leaders, entered the new Parliament complex holding a copy of the Constitution. Before entering the building, MPs were provided with copies of the Constitution of India, books related to Parliament, a commemorative coin, and a stamp.
"We know that the words were added after an amendment in 1976 but if someone gives us the Constitution today and it doesn't have those words, it is a matter of concern...Their intention is suspicious," Chowdhury said.
Chowdhury expressed his concerns about the omission of the term 'socialist secular' from the distributed copies, suggesting that it was a deliberate act. He mentioned that although these words were added through an amendment in 1976 if they were absent from today's Constitution copies, it raised suspicions about the government's intentions.
Senior Congress leader Sonia Gandhi also confirmed the absence of the term 'socialist secular' from the copies provided to them.
During the special session held the previous day, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury was seen reading the Preamble of the Constitution in Parliament. Notably, he included the words 'socialist' and 'secular' while reciting the text.
The terms 'socialist' and 'secular' were introduced into the preamble as part of the 42nd Amendment of the Constitution in 1976, during the period of Emergency declared by then-Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. This amendment changed the description of India from a "sovereign democratic republic" to a "sovereign socialist secular democratic republic."
In a historic move, the Parliament transitioned to a modern new complex on Tuesday, named the 'Parliament House of India' in an official notification. However, Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposed renaming the old building as 'Samvidhan Sadan.'