New Delhi: A major controversy has broken out over words ‘socialist, secular’ missing from the Constitution copy, handed to all the lawmakers before entering the new Parliament building for the special session on Tuesday.
Opposition leaders led by Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury slammed the government for ‘omission’ of words from the Preamble of Constitution and said that this shows BJP’s intentions of ‘changing the fabric’ of holy book for its political motive.
“The copy of Constitution which we got didn’t have words like socialist & secular. It is a serious matter and we will raise the issue in House,” Congress Leader of House in the Lok Sabha said.
Union Law Minister Arjun Ram Meghal, reacting to the ‘constitution alteration’ charge, clarified today that there was no such proposal under consideration.
Playing down the strident Opposition charge, the Minister clarified that the copies were the ‘original versions’ of Constitution and hence these words were absent from them.
“When the Constitution came into being, it did not have the words ‘socialist, secular’. These words were included in the 42nd amendment of the Constitution in 1976,” the law minister said.
Meghwal’s clarification over missing words though failed to cut ice with Opposition as the latter accused it of ‘trampling’ the Constitution by sneaking a big change.
A CPI(M) leader called the omission a crime and said that such acts amounts to tampering as the previous Constitution cease to exist after the new one has been notified.
How socialist, secular found place in Preamble
Originally, the Preamble of Constitution described India as ‘sovereign, democratic republic’ but two new worlds were added in it after 42nd amendment during Indira Gandhi govt.
During Emergency years of Indira regime, a couple of changes were made in the Constitution including addition of words “socialist” & “secular”.
A year later, the successive govt reversed all the changes but the amended preamble continued.