New Delhi, Jan 31: Notwithstanding large-scale protests, including violence in certain parts in the country against CAA, President Ram Nath Kovind on Friday lauded the passage of the Bill on enactment of the new Citizenship law and the historic move to abrogate Articles 370 and 35A of the Constitution by Parliament.
"I am glad to note that both the House of Parliament have passed the new amendment Bill and fulfilled one of the assurances given by Mahatma Gandhi," the President said addressing the Joint Session of both Houses of Parliament at the beginning of Budget Session 2020. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, who were seated among the treasury bench members, thumped the desk while there was some uproar raised by opposition members on the occasion. "My government wants to make it clear that anyone reposing faith in India and is keen for citizenship can have the right," he said. "....Prakriya paheli thi, aaj bhi aisi hae (Such process existed earlier and these remain the same today also)," President said trying to allay any fear on this account.
On the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A, the President said it had paved way for equal development of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. "The abrogation of Article 370 and Article 35A of the Constitution by Parliament is not only historic but it has also paved way for equal development of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh." His words drew loud thumping of desks from the treasury benches, the opposition voiced its protest. Pitching the 2020s as a "very significant decade for India", he underlined that the Constitution will be "the guiding light to all that we do this decade and beyond." He said the Narendra Modi Government had got the mandate to create a 'New India' which it has set out to do and pointed to the many reform measures that had helped better India's rank on several global matrices and indicators. Mr Kovind also praised the manner and maturity with which the citizens of this country reacted and maintained peace after the Supreme Court's verdict on the Ayodhya case was commendable and urged the opposition to engage in debate and desist from protests, which he said, weakens the country. UNI