The Supreme Court on Friday came down heavily on the Punjab Governor for withholding assent to the bills passed by the state legislature. The top court said that the Governor of Punjab is “playing with fire” by deflecting the course of Bills passed by a duly elected Assembly.
Refuting the charges of the Opposition that the words “socialist and secular” are missing in the new copies of the Constitution, the BJP led NDA government on Wednesday said that this was the original copy of the Constitution and an amendment was made later to add those words.
Reacting to the Opposition’s charge, Union Law Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal said: “When the Constitution was drafted, it was like this. An amendment was made later. This is the original copy. Our spokesperson has replied to the same.”
The reaction from the Union Law Minister came after Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and Trinamool Congress MP Dola Sen claimed that the words ‘socialist’ and ‘secular’ have been dropped from the Preamble of the Constitution of India – the new copies of which were distributed to the MPs on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Congress Parliamentary Party (CPP) Chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday backed party MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury’s allegation that the words “socialist, secular” were missing in the copy of the Constitution given to MPs, and said they were not in the Preamble.
Speaking to the media outside Parliament, Sonia Gandhi said, “Have you seen the full Constitution or the (Preamble)…In the Preamble it was not there.”
Speaking to the media, Chowdhury said, “Yesterday I raised this issue. In the Constitution copy, I could not find these two words secular and socialist. Then I spoke to Rahul Gandhi and also said that look ‘ched chad’ (attempt to change) is being done. It was amended in 1976, so why shouldn’t we get it today. Why do we do amendments? This shows the deliberate attempt to change our Constitution.”
He said five points of the Preamble are important. “These are Sovereign, Socialist, secular, democratic Republic. The objectives of Preamble are justice, equality, liberty and fraternity. If these things are changed then the foundation of the country will weaken,” he added.
Talking to a news agency on Tuesday, the Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha said, “The new copies of the Constitution that were given to us today (19th September), the one we held in our hands and entered (the new Parliament building), its Preamble doesn’t have the words ‘socialist secular’.”
He further added: “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.”
He alleged, “Their intention is suspicious. It has been done cleverly. It is a matter of concern for me.” Chowdhury said: “I tried to raise this issue, but I did not get an opportunity to raise this issue.”