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‘First home…special place’: 10 women MPs pen down memories from old Parliament

In a first since independence, the legislature of India is set to move to a new complex during the special Parliament session. In a show of paying respect to the legacy of the old building, ten women parliamentarian across political lines recount their experiences and memories in a bid to offer their tributes to the edifice that remained the epicentre of India’s democratic journey, as they prepare to bid the structure farewell.

Shiv Sena (UBT) MP Priyanka Chaturvedi (L) and TMC MP Mahua Moitra (R) are among 10 women parliamentarians who wrote their messages.(PTI)

All ten parliamentarians share messages of nostalgia of their jouney through the hallowed halls of the old Parliament building in hand-written notes.

Union minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Smriti Irani wrote ‘best wishes’ in her note, whereas, Shiv Sena (UBT) MP Priyanka Chaturvedi described about the number of intense debates and disruptions this historical building with ‘sheer beauty’ witnessed.

“Stalwarts and history makers all work in its precincts. Parliament that has shaped 75 years of our journey as a confident nation. Proud to be a part of this journey and hoping the essence of this parliament continues in the new building,” she wrote in her note.

Akali Dal MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal recalled her journey from being an ‘awed visitor’ to the Parliament building in 2006 to becoming an MP for the first time in 2009 followed by first time as a minister in 2014, ‘these 144 pillars in this temple of democracy hold a multitude of memories for me’. “This beautiful building, embellished with the history and handiwork of thousands of Indian artists, sculptors and labourers has been a place of intense learning and immense satisfaction,” she wrote.

In a similar line, Union minister and Apna Dal (S) MP Anupriya Patel recollected her first steps into Sansad Bhavan. “I could feel deep within that I am entering a historic building, which saw India gaining its Independence on 15 August, 1947, the framing of our Constitution and the evolution and strengthening of our country’s democratic institutions,” she said.

Independent MP Navneet Rana also wrote about the first day when she entered the building and the days further which gave her the ‘opportunity to lear a lot of things’.

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MP Supriya Sule expressed her gratitude to electorates in her constituency which let her attend sessions at the building.

“Blessed and gratitude to the people of Maharashtra and Baramati for giving me the opportunity to be a part of the largest democracy in the world and attending sessions in the old beautiful Parliament building — echoes the voices of the leaders who contributed to the development of our beautiful country,” she wrote.

BJP MP Poonam Mahajan took a poetic twist to express her thoughts and said, “Antim jay ka vajra banane, Nav Dadhichi haddiyan galaayein. Aao phir se diya jalaayein.

Emphasising on the historical significance, Congress MP Ramya Haridas called the building a ‘palace of democracy’ which is the ‘birthplace of strong decisions’.

Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Mahua Moitra said the old Parliament building will have ‘special place in my heart’ and equated it with her ‘first home’. “The building may change but its symbolism — a free space for freely elected representatives of a free country — is what is incumbent upon us all to preserve intact,” she added.

Rajya Sabha MP legendary sprinter PT Usha described her first visit to the Parliament in 1986 after clinching gold medal in the Seoul Asian Games. She further recalled stepping into the Upper House as its member in 2022. “First time in my life I stepped into the Rajya Sabha with my right leg, touched the step with my right hand and chanted ‘Hari Om’ in my lips,” she worte in the note.

(With PTI inputs)

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