President Ram Nath Kovind, addressing a joint session of both the houses on Friday ahead of the Budget session, said the Constitution expects from the Parliament and every member present to fulfil the hopes and aspirations of the countrymen and make necessary laws for them, keeping national interest paramount.
The President praised the “mature way” in which the people of the country behaved after the Supreme Court’s verdict on Ayodhya land dispute case.
Further speaking on, President Kovind said his government is clearly of the view that mutual discussions and debates strengthen democracy. “At the same time, any kind of violence in the name of protest weakens the society and the country,” he added.
The remarks come a day after a 17-year-old youth fired at anti-CAA protests near the Jamia Millia Islamia University on Thursday evening injuring s student of the institution.
On revocation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, Kovind said the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A of the Constitution through two-thirds majority by both the Houses of Parliament is “not only historic but has also paved the way for equal development of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh”.
He said the BJP government built the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor in record time and dedicated it to the nation on the occasion of 550th Prakash Parv of Guru Nanak Dev Ji.
“On the special request of my government, Saudi Arabia increased Haj quota unprecedentedly, due to which a record 2 lakh Indian Muslims performed Haj this time. India is the first country where the entire process of Haj was done digitally and online,” he said.
Further addressing the joint session, President Ram Nath Kovind expressed his happiness over the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) saying that the wish of the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, has been fulfilled through the enactment of the law by both the Houses of Parliament.
As the President spoke on CAA, a brief uproar erupted in the Central Hall.
The President further said this decade is very important for the country. “In the last five years, the government had laid the foundation for making this century Bharat’s century. This decade is very important for Bharat,” he said.
The Union Budget is set to be held on Saturday. The first phase of the session will conclude on February 11, while the second phase will begin from March 2 and continue till April 3.
The Budget session of Parliament, beginning Friday, is set to be stormy as the opposition parties plan to take on the government on issues, like the economic slowdown and the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) that is facing countrywide protests.
The opposition parties are also putting up a united front against the Narendra Modi government on issues, such as the National Population Register (NPR) and the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC), which has also seen violent protests in the various parts of the country.
It’s learnt the opposition will pressurise the government to “roll back” the CAA. The law and order issue will also be raised during the Budget session, the third of 17th Lok Sabha.
To set the tone, the opposition led by the Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi protested in front of Gandhi statue in Parliament premises, against CAA, NRC and NPR. The opposition leaders were seen raising slogans and holding “Save India” and “Save Constitution” placards.
Congress MP, Gaurav Gogoi, earlier said that in protest against the attack on the constitution, the opposition will sit and listen to the President’s address with black bands around their arms.