Violence during protests weakens democracy: President Ram Nath Kovind – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Addressing a joint sitting of both houses of Parliament, President Ram Nath Kovind on Friday said that violence during protests weaken democracy.
“My government is clearly of the view that mutual discussions and debates further strengthen democracy. At the same time, any kind of violence in the name of protest weakens the society and the country,” the President said during his speech at Central Hall of Parliament.
The speech came a day before the tabling of the Union Budget on February 1.
The President’s remarks come a day after a juvenile was arrested for brandishing a gun and shooting towards students protesting against the amended citizenship law in the Jamia area of the national capital on Thursday. One student was injured in the incident.
“I am happy that the wish of the Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi has been fulfilled through the enactment of the CAA by both the Houses of Parliament,” the President said on the enactment of CAA by Parliament in December last year.
The President added that the procedure to grant citizenship to people of all religions remains as it was.
Following his comment, the President’s speech was briefly interrupted when opposition parties objected to his comment. Protests at multiple places in the country are also being held over the new law.
The president termed the abrogation of Article 370 historic which would pave the way for the development of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
“The abrogation of Article 370 and Article 35A of the Constitution through two-thirds majority by both the Houses of Parliament is not only historic but it has also paved the way for equal development of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh,” he said.
The President also praised the country’s response to the Supreme Court’s verdict on the Ayodhya land dispute case. “The mature way in which the countrymen behaved after the Supreme Court’s decision on Ramjanmabhoomi is also praiseworthy,” he added.
Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also addressed the media before the start of the Budget session.
PM said that the country should take advantage of the global situation.
“We should ensure that this session is focussed mainly on economic issues. Both the Houses should have good debate over economic issues. India should take advantage of the global economic condition,” said the Prime Minister.
“Our government is known for empowering women, Dalits and marginalised people. We will continue our efforts in the same direction,” he added.
The Union Budget will be presented on Saturday. The first phase of the session will conclude on February 11, while the second part of the session will begin from March 2 and end on April 3.
(With inputs from agencies)

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