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National News

Jan 31, 2020

Prez Kovind hails Citizenship Amendment Act as historic; says it fulfills wishes of Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi

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President Ram Nath Kovind today hailed the Citizenship Amendment Act as historic and said it has fulfilled wishes of  Father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi. He said, after partition, Mahatma Gandhi had said that - Hindus and Sikhs of Pakistan, who do not want to stay there, can come to India and it is the duty of the Indian Government to provide them a normal life.

Addressing the joint sitting of both the houses of Parliament at Central Hall, Mr. Kovind said, the mutual debate and discussion on any issue strengthen democracy, while violence during protests weaken it. Mr. Kovind said, the people have given mandate to the present government to build a New India and it is following the Mantra of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Viswas.

President Kovind reminded all political leaders that they must always remember that they are first and foremost citizens of this country and leaders or supporters of a particular ideology thereafter. He also added that the prestige of the country should be more important than party loyalties. Mr Kovind also gave a clarion call to them to make every citizen conscious of and dedicated to his duties in the national interest and ensure that this sense of responsibility becomes the guiding principle of civic life. He also called for uniting together to make this decade of 2020 the decade of fulfilling duties.

Referring to abrogation of Article 370 and Article 35A related to Jammu and Kashmir, the President said, it has paved way for equal development of the regions and people in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh have got rights on par with the rest of the country. The President also lauded the countrymen over their mature behaviour after the Supreme Court's decision on Ram Janmabhoomi.

The President said, Parliament has created record in the first seven months of the new government by enacting several landmark legislations including bill related to abolishing the practice of Triple Talaq. He said, the Constitution expects from this Parliament and every member to fulfill the hopes and aspirations of the countrymen and make necessary laws for them, keeping national interest paramount.  

Mr Kovind highlighted several work done by the government at the ground level in the last five years which has helped India's ranking on several International ranking indices.  On the Tourism Index, India has risen from 52nd to the 34th rank while on the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business ranking, the country has jumped 79 ranks to stand at 63rd.

The President said, eight crore people were given free gas connections, two crore free houses and 38 crore people have been helped with bank accounts. Mr Kovind said, the government has taken several steps for the welfare of minorities in the country.

Lauding the contributions of farmers, the President said that bringing about a change in their lives is the priority of the government. He also said that the government is going to spend an amount of 25 lakh crore rupees in the coming years to strengthen the rural economy.

Under the Prime Minister's Kisan Samman Nidhi, he said that, more than 43 thousand crore rupees has been deposited in the bank accounts of over eight crore farmers. He also said that the government is working with dedication to provide the farmers, prices which are one and a half times the input cost.

Talking about the health initiatives, Mr. Kovind said, government is working with a holistic approach in the area and serious efforts are being made at every level in preventive and curative health care.

He added that the impact of the Ayushman Bharat Scheme on the health sector of the country is visible. Under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana, so far 75 lakh poor have availed free treatment. More than 27 thousand Health and Wellness Centres have also been set up.

On women safety, the President said that the more than 600 One Stop Centres have been set up in the country and a national database has been created to identify the perpetrators of crimes against women. He also announced that over one thousand Fast Track Special Courts will be set up across the country to ensure speedy justice in such cases. It has also been decided to set up a Women Help Desk in every Police Station of the country.

On terrorism, he asserted that the government is working with full strength and determination to free the country from the scourge of terrorism. President Kovind said that the decrease in   terrorist activities in Jammu and Kashmir demonstrates that public cooperation can be effective in the fight against terrorism.

He said that the government has given the security forces a free hand in taking the strongest measures against those indulging in terrorism. The security situation in the North East has also improved significantly due to the concerted efforts of the government.

Our correspondent reports, the Members from Congress, DMK, RJD, Left and others were wearing black bands during President's address.

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