‘Socialist, secular’ missing in Preamble copies given to MPs: Adhir Ranjan Chowdhurytext_fields
New Delhi: Congress leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Wednesday said the new copies of the Constitution, distributed to the Members of the Parliament on the opening day of proceedings in the new Parliament building on Tuesday, did not have the words “socialist and secular” in its Preamble.
“The copy of the Constitution given to us did not have the words Socialist and Secular. They can say it is an older version. But they should have included the amended version too. They may say they have given us the original version. I think there is a deliberate design,” Chowdhury said, reports The Indian Express.
The words “socialist” and “secular” were added to the Preamble as part of the 42nd constitutional amendment in 1976 during the Emergency imposed by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
It reads: “We, the people of India, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a sovereign socialist secular democratic republic…”
In 2015, a government advertisement published in newspapers for Republic Day, omitted the words “socialist, secular” in the image of the Constitution’s Preamble, triggering an uproar.
A bulletin issued by the Lok Sabha Secretariat on September 18, the first day of the special session of Parliament, had clearly stated that members would be given a copy of the Constitution and a calligraphed copy of the original Constitution of India.
“To mark the historic first sitting in the Parliament House of India (new building of Parliament) a copy of the Constitution of India, Calligraphed copy of the original Constitution of India, newsletter “Gaurav”, and commemorative stamp and coin released on the occasion of inauguration of the new building of Parliament will be presented to Hon‟ble Members,” the bulletin had said.
The Union Law Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal said that the members may have been given a copy of the original Constitution. “It (Preamble) was like this when the Constitution was adopted. After that, the 42nd amendment came… So, it must be the original copy”.
The principles of socialism and secularism are to be compulsorily followed as conditions for registering a political party with the Election Commission of India (ECI). This was added to Section 29-A (5) of the Representation of People Act, 1951 by an amendment in 1989.