Press Trust of india

‘Secular’, ‘socialist’ missing from copies of Constitution given to lawmakers: Adhir

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New Delhi: Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Wednesday alleged that the words “secular” and “socialist” were missing from the Preamble in the copies of the Constitution given to lawmakers on the opening day of proceedings at the new Parliament building.

As many Opposition leaders also hit out at the government over what they called was a “serious” issue and a “crime”, Law Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal said the copies carried the original version of the Preamble of the Constitution and that these words were added later to it after constitutional amendments.

“This is as per the original Preamble. Amendments were made later,” he asserted.

Former Congress president Sonia Gandhi also said the words were not there in the Preamble.

“Have you seen the full Constitution or only the Preamble. In the Preamble, it was not there,” Gandhi said outside Parliament when asked on Chowdhury’s claim.

Terming the matter as serious, Chowdhury said the words have been “cleverly removed” and expressed doubts over the intentions of the BJP government.

“The Preamble of the Constitution in the copy that we carried to the new building does not include the words secular and socialist. They have been cleverly removed…this is a serious matter and we will raise this issue,” he told reporters.

Chowdhury said he knows that the words were added later in 1976 to the Constitution.

“For me this is a serious issue. I doubt their intentions as their heart does not seem to be clear on this,” he said.

The Congress Leader of the House in Lok Sabha also said that if someone gives a copy of the Constitution today, it should carry the version of it as of today.

Former law minister Ashwani Kumar said he does not think the government will ever attempt to remove the words.

“It cannot be done without a constitutional amendment and will be clearly counter productive for the government.”

Binoy Viswam of the CPI termed the omission of the words as a “crime”.

TMC member Dola Sena said the Constitution has been amended several times and if a copy of it has been given now it obviously should include all the amendments till date. She said she will raise the issue in the house.

She said the BJP is now claiming that this is the original copy of the Preamble to the Constitution and not the latest version, they should have mentioned clearly in the copy given to MPs.

Congress MP and deputy leader in Rajya Sabha Pramod Tiwari also raised objections to the “removal” of the words from the Constitution, saying he will raise the matter in the house as it was “serious”.

Several opposition MPs, including those from the Left and other parties, are likely to raise the matter at their meeting.

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