Parties must work with spirit of ‘nation first’: President Kovind
New Delhi: Outgoing President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday urged political parties must rise above a partisan approach and work with the spirit of “nation first”.
At his farewell function in the Central Hall of Parliament, he said that he remains eternally grateful to the people of India and for giving him an opportunity to serve the country as President.
“What the Almighty had wanted me to accomplish could not have been accomplished without the support from all the elected representatives. During my term, I had frequently interacted with them on various platforms and had also met numerous delegations of parliamentarians and of people from other domains,” he said.
He thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and members of his Council of Ministers, VicePresident M. Venkaiah Naidu and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla for their support during his tenure.
Citing Article 79 of the Constitution, which provides for a Parliament consisting of the President and the two houses, he said: “In keeping with this constitutional provision, I look at the President as an integral part of the Parliamentary family. As with any family, there are bound to be differences within this Parliamentary family too; there would be diverging views about how to proceed further.
“But we remain a family, and the interest of the nation remains our top priority. Political processes operate through the mechanism of party organisations, but the parties must rise above a partisan approach and consider what is good, what is essential for the common man and woman, with the spirit of ‘nation first’.”
The President said that when we consider the whole nation as a family, we also understand that differences are bound to crop up once in a while and such differences can be resolved peacefully and harmoniously through dialogue.
“Citizens and political parties have many constitutional avenues open to them, including protests. After all, the Father of our Nation employed the weapon of Satyagraha for that purpose. But he was equally concerned about the other side. Citizens have a right to protest to press for their demands, but it should always be in the peaceful Gandhian mould,” he said.
The President said that looking back on his career in public service, and the efforts of the governments, they must accept that, although much has been achieved yet so much more remains to be done to raise the living standards of the marginalised.
“As the basic necessities are taken care of, aspirations are changing too. The dreams of average Indians have got wings now. This has been made possible by good governance, which by definition is without any kind of discrimination. This all-round progress is in tune with what Babasaheb Ambedkar had visualised,” he added.