We believe in celebrating R-Day with much fervour to help strengthen Constitution, constitutional institutions: Cong

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New Delhi, Jan 6 (PTI) The Congress on Wednesday said it believes in celebrating the Republic Day with much fervour to help strengthen the Constitution and constitutional institutions after party leader Shashi Tharoor suggested that this year's celebrations should be cancelled in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Congress leader Alka Lamba said at a time when the Constitution and constitutional institutions are under attack in the present times it was even more important to celebrate days like the Republic Day and Independence Day in a big way.

'As far as the party is concerned, the party has full faith and belief that our Republic Day and Independence Day are both our democratic and constitutional festivals, which should be celebrated, especially at a time when in our democracy, the Constitution and constitutional institutions are being weakened,' she told reporters.

'The Congress believes that such festivals should be celebrated so that we can express our resolve and our pledge on the faith towards our Constitution and our constitutional institutions,' she said.

Tharoor suggested cancelling the Republic Day festivities after Prime Minister Boris Johnson called off his India visit due to the coronavirus situation in the UK, saying getting crowds to cheer the parade as usual would be 'irresponsible'.

Johnson was scheduled to attend the Republic Day celebrations in New Delhi as chief guest.

'Now that Boris Johnson's visit to India this month has been cancelled due to the COVID Second Wave, & we don't have a Chief Guest on Republic Day, why not go one step farther & cancel the festivities altogether?' Tharoor asked on Twitter.

'Getting crowds to cheer the parade as usual would be irresponsible,' he said.

Lamba said at a time when attempts are being made weaken the constitutional institutions through consistent attacks on them, the Congress feels that while celebrating such festivals with more fervour, we should express our faith in them and take an oath to ensure that we will not allow our Constitution and constitutional institutions to be weakened at all.

'I think it is only through our democratic festivals that we have work to strengthen our commitment and our faith and belief in them,' she said. PTI SKC ASK ZMN