NEW DELHI: In what was seen as a reference to protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act, President Ram Nath Kovind on Friday said laws passed by Parliament should be accepted by citizens and that violence weakened society.
The Presidents remarks during his address to the joint sitting of Parliament came amid slogans, placards and banners marring the ceremonial function that marks the start of the budget session. The NDA and opposition benches clashed in a rare commotion during the usually staid address that is written by the government.
“Our Constitution also places an expectation that the decisions taken through democratic processes will be accepted by the countrymen,” Kovind said. While the President stoutly defended CAA and the decision to scrap Jammu and Kashmirs special status, there was no reference to the National Register of Citizens.
Kovind said Mahatma Gandhi had held that Hindus and Sikhs of Pakistan who did not wish to live there after Partition could come to India. “It is the duty of the government of India to ensure a normal life for them,” he said quoting Gandhi and added, “I am happy that both the Houses of Parliament have fulfilled this wish by enacting the CAA.”
The President said BJP icon Syama Prasad Mookerjee had protested the special status to J&K during the Nehru government. “Today, after seven decades, the whole country is happy that the dream of crores of freedom fighters including Mookerjee has come true,” he said.
The remarks elicited thumping of desks by BJP members, the applause turning inordinately long, with even the President having to pause. It turned into a provocation for the opposition as cries of “shame, shame” rent Central Hall, followed by loud slogans — resulting in scenes not witnessed in contemporary history of the joint address which is usually an unremarkable affair.
The protesters included Congress, DMK, IUML and other parties. Though the President resumed, the disruption recurred a few times later. At one point, Trinamool Congress MPs stood in their places and unfurled banners with slogans in blood red denouncing CAA-NPR-NRC while some like Congresss Assam MP Abdul Khaleque demanded “CAA be out of Assam”. He also accused BJP ministers of spreading violence.
As a mark of protest, Congress wore black bands to Central Hall and sat at the back, with even veterans Sonia Gandhi, Ghulam Nabi Azad and Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury giving up their front row seats. Only former PM Manmohan Singh sat in the front row. Some 14 opposition parties sat as aRead More – Source