President condemns Republic Day violence

New Delhi: President Ram Nath Kovind today condemned the violence during the tractor rally taken out in New Delhi on Republic Day by the farmers protesting against the three farm laws and termed it as unfortunate. He also defended the central agri acts.

Addressing the joint sitting of both Houses of Parliament on the opening day of the Budget Session, the President said the insult of the tricolour and Republic Day was very unfortunate.

Farm Laws

The President said that the three farm laws, that have seen massive protests by farmers since they were passed, had been passed after much deliberation and that there had been no reduction in rights and facilities of farmers.

“My government wants to make it clear that before the formation of the three new agricultural laws, there was no reduction in the rights and facilities which were under the old system. Rather, through these agricultural reforms, the government has given new rights to farmers as well as new rights,” he said.

Covid vaccine

While India has been lauded by many for its vaccine diplomacy, the latest accolades came from the President himself.  He said, “It is a matter of pride that India is running the biggest vaccination program in the world. Both vaccines of this program are made in India. In this crisis India shouldered its responsibility towards mankind & provided lakhs of doses of vaccines to several nations.”

India had gone into three months of lockdown since March and experts had said it helped reduced the number of cases in the country. Kovind said, “I am satisfied that the timely decision taken by my Government saved the lives of lakhs of citizens. Today the number of new COVID cases is going down rapidly.”

Indo-China ties

Saying the government was fully committed to the interests of the country, Kovind said, “In June 2020, 20 of our soldiers made their supreme sacrifice in the Galvan Valley to protect the motherland. Every countryman is grateful to these martyrs… My govt is fully committed to protecting the interests of the country and is also vigilant. Additional forces have also been deployed to protect India’s sovereignty over the LAC.”

Economy on recovery path

Ahead of the Budget during a time when India’s economy suffered greatly because of the pandemic, Kovind said, “In this period of Corona, the country has started recovering from the damage done to the economy amid efforts to save the life of every Indian. Even in these difficult times, India has emerged as an attractive place for the investors of the world.”

Kashmir controversy

Over a year after the abrogations of Article 370 in Jammua and Kashmir, the President said that the people had supported the government’s policy of development. He said, “Only a few weeks ago, for the first time since independence, the Zilla Parishad elections in Jammu and Kashmir have concluded successfully.”

Opposition parties  boycott

Meanwhile, 19 opposition parties led by the Congress boycotted the President’s address to express solidarity with the protesting farmers. However, during the address, Congress MP Ravneet Singh Bittu constantly raised slogans demanding repeal of the farm laws.

 

NT Bureau