President urges nation to honour women

Lucknow, Jan 8 (IANS) Amid rising incidents of violence against women in society, President Pranab Mukherjee Tuesday urged people to honour women and said that a country which fails to do so cannot be considered decent.

Addressing the concluding session of the 125th anniversary celebrations of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly, Mukherjee said women should get their rightful place in the society.

His remarks came even as the nation was outraged over the gang-rape in Delhi last month of a young woman hailing from the state. The victim later succumbed to her injuries in a Singapore hospital.

Mukherjee also lamented the growing instances of walkouts and interruptions in parliament and state legislative assemblies saying that the forums should be used as a means to address and raise the problems faced by the people.

"It is the responsibility of the elected public representatives to conduct themselves in a way it behoves them and they should work to highlight the issues faced by the people and to sort them out," he added.

He pointed out that without the sanction of the legislature, the executive cannot even spend a penny.

Referring to the maiden budget of the country, all of Rs.197 crore, Mukherjee wondered how at that time there were no taxes like customs, excise, sales or gift tax. The house had deliberated for long and passed it after due discussions.

The last budget, Mukherjee pointed out, was worth Rs.12 lakh crore but was passed without proper discussions. In the 14th Lok Sabha, he rued, the house ran only for 1,992 hours and 416 hours were wasted to pandemonium.

He also released a special postal stamp to commemorate the momentous occasion of the 125th anniversary celebrations of the UP state assembly.

Earlier, he was welcomed by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, speaker of the state assembly Mata Prasad Pandey, and state Parliamentary Affairs Minister Azam Khan, among others.

Also present at the function were Rajya Sabha MP and actress Jaya Bachchan and union Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal.

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