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Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury claims ‘socialist and secular’ removed from new copies of Constitution; Law Minister says ‘was like this’

As Parliament began functioning from the new building, a controversy erupted after Congress leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said Wednesday the copy of the Constitution distributed to Members of Parliament to mark the first sitting in the new Parliament did not have the words “Socialist and Secular” in its Preamble.

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“The copy of the Constitution given to us did not have the words Socialist and Secular. They (the government) can say it is an older version. But they should have included the amended version too. They may say they have given us the original version. I think there is a deliberate design,” Chowdhury told The Indian Express.

The two terms – Socialist and Secular – were inserted into the Preamble as part of the 42nd Amendment of the Constitution in 1976 during Emergency imposed by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

However, Union Law Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal played down the issue saying the members may have been given a copy of the original Constitution. “It (Preamble) was like this when the Constitution was adopted. After that, the 42nd amendment came… So it must be the original copy”.

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A bulletin issued by the Lok Sabha Secretariat on September 18, the first day of the special session of Parliament, had clearly stated that members would be given a copy of the Constitution and a calligraphed copy of the original Constitution of India.

“To mark the historic first sitting in the Parliament House of India (new building of Parliament) a copy of the Constitution of India, Calligraphed copy of the original Constitution of India, newsletter “Gaurav”, and commemorative stamp and coin released on the occasion of inauguration of the new building of Parliament will be presented to Hon‟ble Members,” the bulletin had said.

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