In her maiden address to the joint sitting of both Houses of parliament on January 31, 2023, President Droupadi Murmu Tuesday said that the “biggest change” in the nine years since the election of the Narendra Modi government was that “every Indian’s confidence is at its peak and the world’s outlook towards India has changed.”
The address, customary at the start of the Budget Session of parliament saw President Murmu lauding the Narendra Modi government, stating that “India has a government which is stable, fearless, decisive and working with lofty ambitions”, a “government which respects the honest” and works with speed and scale.
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“Through this Session I express my gratitude to the people of the country for electing a stable government for two consecutive terms. My decisive government has always kept the country’s interest paramount and shown the will-power to completely transform the policies and strategies when required. From surgical strike to a firm crackdown on terrorism, from a befitting response to every misadventure from LoC to LAC, from abrogation of Article 370 to Triple Talaq, my government has been recognized as a decisive government,” she said also lauding the government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Bharata Rashtra Samithi (BRS) and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) boycotted the address although Congress parliamentary leader, Sonia Gandhi was in attendance. BRS leader Keshava Rao said that the boycott was to “bring attention” as a “democratic protest” against the “failures of the Narendra Modi government”. “
Ms Murmu went into great detail about government programmes stating that the programmes were conceived and run taking all sections of society together. From the government’s flagship “Har Ghar Jal” (tap water connections to all households), to the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (income support programme for farmers), to India receiving the presidentship of the G20 this year, President Murmu spoke in detail on all.
“My government has chosen the path of consolidating heritage and giving priority to development. On one side Ayodhya Dham is being developed and on the other side, a modern Parliament is being constructed. While the redevelopment of Kedarnath Dham and the development of the Kashi Vishwanath Dham corridor and Mahakal Project are completed, simultaneously medical colleges are being made in every district,” President Murmu, to huge applause.
A significant part of her speech was dedicating to government policies related to women’s empowerment. Quoting Kuntala Kumari Sabat, a poetess of Odia langiage about a century ago, President Murmu said that in ‘Utkal Bharti’ the poetess declared about 100 years ago that the woman of the country is not inferior to anybody.
“Basundhara-Tale Bharat-Ramani Nuhe Heen Nuhe Deen Amar Kirti Koti Yuge Kebhen Jagtun Nohib Leen. This she translates to- The woman of India is neither inferior nor humble compared to anyone on earth,” President Murmu stated.
Women empowerment has been at the core of all schemes introduced by my governemnt. Today, we are seeing the success of Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao,” she said.
“For the first time in the country, number of women is more than men and the health of women has also improved more than before,” President Murmu said.
The Budget session of Parliament began on January 31, and will continue till April 6 with a month-long recess to examine the budget papers. The session will take place in two parts with the first part concluding on February 13. The second part will be held from March 13 and will conclude on April 6.