Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury has joined the Opposition chorus panning the Modi government at the Centre over the 9.5-tonne cast of the national emblem gracing the top of the new Parliament building in Delhi.

Amid allegations that the newly unveiled bronze cast of the Lion Capital of Ashoka is not true to the historic original, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury has wondered whether the sculpture is a “distorted version” of the big cats that inhabit the Gir forest in Gujarat, PM Modi’s home state.

In fact, the Congress leader has called on the Prime Minister to look at the cast closely and determine the alleged distortion for himself, and make changes if it is found to be inaccurate or lacking.

“The solo show of unveiling the national emblem by PM @narendramodi Ji, has already drawn a flurry of questions including constitutional propriety, let alone democratic values. We are all familiar with our PM’s “#Who_Cares_Whom” attitude. @narendramodi Ji, please observe the face of the Lion, whether it is representing the statue of Great #Sarnath or a distorted version of GIR lion. please check it and if it needs, mend the same,” Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury tweeted on Tuesday.

Earlier in the day, Trinamool Congress MPs Mahua Moitra and Jawhar Sircar accused the Centre of insulting the national emblem by installing an “aggressive” and “disproportionate” likeness of the Lion Capital of Ashoka on top of the new Parliament building in Delhi.

“Insult to our national symbol, the majestic Ashokan Lions. Original is on the left, graceful, regally confident. The one on the right is Modi’s version, put above new Parliament building — snarling, unnecessarily aggressive and disproportionate. Shame! Change it immediately,” tweeted Rajya Sabha MP Jawhar Sircar.

Lok Sabha MP Mahua Moitra tweeted a side-by-side image of the Lion Capital of Ashoka — comparing a past sculpture with the bronze and burnished cast installed on the roof of the new Parliament building, without adding anything in comment.

The government has come under fire from Opposition parties after Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled a cast of the national emblem atop the new Parliament building on Monday. The Congress, CPI(M) and the AIMIM criticised the inauguration by PM Modi, terming it a “violation” of the Constitution, which envisages separation of power between the Executive and the Legislature.

The BJP has fired back, saying the Opposition’s criticism was “politically motivated.”


India today