Emergency biggest, darkest chapter of direct attack on Constitution: President Murmu

Addressing the joint session of the Parliament, President Droupadi Murmu also responded to allegations surrounding the NEET and UGC NET exams and said the government is fully committed to investigating the incidents and ensuring that the guilty are punished.
President Droupadi Murmu addressing the parliament in a joint session of both the Houses.
President Droupadi Murmu addressing the parliament in a joint session of both the Houses. (Photo| X/ Narendra Modi)

President Droupadi Murmu in her address to the 18th Lok Sabha on Thursday echoed the ruling BJP's stand on the Emergency imposed by Indira Gandhi in 1975.

Addressing a joint sitting of the Houses, Murmu said when the Constitution was being drafted, there were powers in the world who were hoping that India would fail.

Even after the Constitution came into force, there were several attacks on the Constitution, she noted.

"Today is 27th June. The imposition of Emergency on June 25, 1975 was the biggest and darkest chapter of direct attack on the Constitution. The entire country felt outraged. But the country emerged victorious over such unconstitutional forces as the traditions of the republic lie at the core of India," she said.

The President also responded to the recent incidents of irregularities and alleged fraud in the NEET and UGC NET examinations.

"If due to any reason there is obstruction in examinations it is not appropriate. Sanctity, transparency are a must in government recruitments and examinations," she said.

"The government is committed to conduct fair investigation and ensure the most stringent punishment to those guilty in the recent incidents of paper leak," she said.

There were incidents of paper leaks in some states earlier as well, the president said, stressing that there is need to rise above partisan politics and take strong steps at the national level.

The president added that Parliament has also made a strong law against paper leaks. She added that the government is working to bring reforms in the examination process.

The President began her address by congratulating the newly elected speaker of Lok Sabha, Om Birla. She congratulated the Election Commission for successful conduct of Lok Sabha elections. She also congratulated all the elected parliamentarians of the newly constituted Lok Sabha.

Congratulating the NDA government for a third time in power, she said it is an indication of the people's confidence in the governance.

"This has happened after six decades. People have shown trust in my government for the third time. People of India are confident that only my government can fulfil their aspirations," she said.

Responding to the voter turnout in Kashmir, she said that several records of voting were broken in Kashmir and it was a fitting reply to India's enemies.

Speaking on the priorities of the newly formed government, the President said that the Union Budget will be a futuristic document and that reforms will be fast-tracked. She added that the government is working on storage initiative for agri-products and has increased MSP for farm produce.

"Resolve of Reform, Perform and Transform has made India fastest growing economy in the world," she said.

The President also mentioned the Ayushman Bharat health scheme explaining the governmnt's plan to expand it.

Under the Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY), free health services are being provided to 55 crore beneficiaries, Murmu said.

"Further, the Government is going to take yet another decision in this area. Now all the elderly above 70 years of age will also be covered and get the benefit of free treatment under Ayushman Bharat Yojana," the President said.

The opening of 25,000 Jan Aushadhi Kendras in the country is also progressing at a fast pace, she added.

Hinting at the violence in Manipur, but not mentioning the state's name, the President faintly said that government is working for lasting peace in the North East. Several old problems have been addressed in last 10 years, she said. President Murmu further said steps are being taken to usher in development in North East and the government is planning to revoke the controversial AFSPA that gives special powers to army in the region.

The President arrived at the Parlaiment accompanied by a grand procession. She was welcomed at the Parliament Building by Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla. She was given a guard of honour in the lawns of the Parliament building and was escorted to the Lok Sabha chamber by Dhankhar, Modi, Birla and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kiren Rijiju.

The vice president, the prime minister and the Lok Sabha Speaker welcomed the President at the Gaja Dwar of the Parliament building and proceeded to the Lok Sabha chamber in a procession led by the officer carrying the Sengol reverentially.

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