Image Source : PTI/FILE PHOTO PM Modi carries the Sengol in a procession before installing it in the Lok Sabha chamber at the inauguration of the new Parliament building, in New Delhi.

Samajwadi Party MP RK Chaudhary sparked controversy by demanding the replacement of the Sengol, a historic sceptre, with the Constitution in the Lok Sabha. This drew backlash from the BJP and other NDA allies. In a letter to pro-tem Speaker Bhartruhari Mahtab, Chaudhary referred to the Sengol as an “anachronistic symbol of monarchy” in a democratic India. He stated, “Sengol means ‘Raj Dand’ or ‘Raja ka Danda’. After ending the princely order, the country became independent. Will the country be run by ‘Raja ka danda’ or the Constitution? I demand that Sengol be removed from Parliament to save the Constitution.”

Historical significance of Sengol

The Sengol, installed in the Lok Sabha during the inauguration of the new Parliament building last year, was handed to India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, as a symbol of the transfer of power from the British to Indians.

BJP’s response

The BJP criticised Chaudhary’s remarks, accusing the Samajwadi Party of insulting Indian and Tamil culture. BJP spokesperson Shehzad Poonawalla questioned why Nehru accepted the Sengol if it symbolised monarchy. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath condemned the remarks, calling them an insult to Tamil culture and a display of the I.N.D.I.A. bloc’s disdain for Indian history.

Support for Chaudhary’s remarks

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav defended Chaudhary, suggesting that the Prime Minister had not bowed before the Sengol after taking oath. RJD MP Misa Bharti argued that the Sengol should be in a museum, reflecting India’s democratic nature. Congress leader Renuka Chowdhury and RJD MP Manoj Jha echoed these sentiments, advocating for the Constitution to be the symbol in Parliament.

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