New Delhi, August 14 (Hindustan Times): In his address to the nation on the eve of Independence Day, President Ram Nath Kovind has said that nullifying of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir will benefit the people of the state and ensure justice to the daughters.
“I am confident that the recent changes made in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh would be of immense benefit to those regions. They will enable the people to access and enjoy the same rights, same privileges as the rest of the country,” President Kovind said.
He listed other benefits that he said will flow to the region after the decision to scrap the special status for J&K with special mention of the Right to Education and Right to Information. President Kovind said that daughters of Jammu and Kashmir could now be protected from unequal practices such as instant Triple Talaq.
Earlier this month, the BJP-ruled central government scrapped Jammu and Kashmir’s special status under Article 370 and also introduced two bills in the Rajya Sabha downgrading and dividing the state into two union territories: J&K and Ladakh.
President Kovind also announced that the recently concluded Parliament session was one of the most productive ones, both in terms of time and the bills passed. “Many important bills were passed in a spirit of cross-party co-operation and constructive debate. I am confident this is only an indicator of what the coming five years have in store,” he said.
Thirty bills, including the financial legislation that are part of the budget, were cleared by both Houses, the highest in any session in the past decade. It also saw 96% or 241 out of 265 first-term MPs participating in various debates.
The productivity in Parliament was aided by the fact that the BJP and its allies have the numerical advantage in Lok Sabha. The BJP has 303 members in the 543 member Lok Sabha and the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has 358 members.
The ruling coalition was supposed to have a tougher time passing legislations through the Rajya Sabha but things did turn out differently. The BJP managed to engineer resignations in some parties, and convincing others to either vote for it or abstain.
President Kovind congratulated the voters of the country for participating in the 17th general elections which he described as the largest democratic exercise in human history. “It was now for all of us to work together and take our cherished nation to new heights,” he said.
The President spoke on the eve of India’s 73rd Independence Day. On Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the nation on the Independence Day from the ramparts of the Red Fort in Delhi.